On October 15th during their regular meeting, City Council received a presentation about the 90-day Lime Scooter pilot program. Council directed staff to update Bothell's ordinances to incorporate e-scooters and to create a program to manage multi-modal transportation. Staff will return to Council in 180 days with draft ordinance and recommendations for managing e-scooters.
This summer, Bothell City Council approved a 90-day pilot program with Lime. The city hosted a fleet of no more than 100 motorized electric Lime scooters starting in July 2019. Scooters were made available at various drop-off locations throughout downtown Bothell, with two to four scooters at each location (depending on the surrounding population density).
Lime’s Lime-S Electric Scooters are a form of free-floating transportation and mobility, with no set stops or infrastructure, differing from fixed-transportation like city buses and trains.
“Some of the promises of the new free-floating shared mobility is that by saving the cost of having to invest in the stations and by making these more convenient to people, that companies could help provide a service to the community without the [city government] having to pay for it,” said Jonathan Hopkins, Director of Strategic Development for Lime.
To use the scooters, simply download the Lime app, unlock the scooter by scanning the QR code located on the handlebars and then you’re ready to scoot! The app will charge $1 to unlock and 25 cents per minute of your trip. Lime also offers a low-income fare. Anyone on a city, state or federal low income program can sign up to pay just 50 cents to unlock and 7 cents per minute. More information is available at li.me/community-impact.
Users should not ride scooters on sidewalks in the downtown business district, and instead ride in the street downtown. Scooters can be parked in the furniture zone (the same area where street light standards and benches might be found). Users should take care to not place them within 15 feet of a bus stop, 5 feet of any ADA ramp, and to always leave at least 5 feet for people to pass on a sidewalk. Lime’s electric scooters have a maximum assisted speed of 15 mph.
The City of Bothell previously worked with Lime in introducing free-floating manual bikes to the city in late 2017. Near the end of the program, Lime shifted its business model from manual bikes to electric bikes and scooters, resulting in the removal of all manual bikes from the city.
In addition to providing an environmentally-friendly way for residents to commute, the introduction of the scooters should also help to relieve traffic congestion.
“Electric scooters could potentially provide another way for students, faculty, and staff to get to and from campus that doesn’t involve a single occupancy vehicle,” said Ryan McIrvin, Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations for the University of Washington Bothell. “During the 90 day pilot program we hope to see safe usage of these scooters on campus and throughout Bothell that integrates rather than interferes with existing vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. To help ensure we have a smooth launch we have put a plan in place to limit the maximum speed to 8 mph while on campus and designate parking areas when scooters are not in use.”
Following the end of the 90-day pilot, the City Council will meet to determine the future of the program.
Learn more about the scooters on Lime’s website: https://www.li.me/electric-scooter