“Lime-E” E-assist Bikes Now Available in Seattle Area

LimeBike was founded in January 2017. University of South Carolina at Greensboro, the company’s first location, was launched with 125 bikes in June 2017. On July 27, 2017, LimeBike launched with 500 bicycles in Seattle. It has been serving people in Seattle area since July 2017. Their tagline is “Smart mobility made simple; download, unlock and ride anywhere.”
According to their site, “LimeBike aims to provide a sustainable solution to the first and last mile transportation problem by helping people move around their cities in an affordable and convenient way while eliminating their carbon footprint.” Recently, LimeBike announced e-assist bikes that have “Lime E” logo on them have already come to Seattle area since February 2018. There are now around 500 Lime-E bikes in Seattle, which is the largest fleet of electric-assist bikes in the U.S., and the number of the e-assist bikes has expanded from 300 to 500 during the first week. Eventually, LimeBike expects around 40 percent of its fleet to be electric-assist bikes, because for hilly Seattle, e-assist LimeBike could save people a lot of energy, and they are also able to get anywhere with just a simple ride.
LimeBike is really helpful for me to commute a short distance. Personally, I do not have a car, so buses became the way I commute to school and back home. However, with LimeBike, it is easier to ride from a bus stop to another one without spending too much time walking. Moreover, by using the Lime-E, I could ride up a hill without needing to pedal so hard, which is very convenient for residents in the Seattle area.
Using LimeBike is not complicated; people could download LimeBike application on their phone, sign up, and see all the bikes that are available on the map. Particularly, markers that have a lighting sign on them indicate those bikes are Lime-E bikes, or electric-assist bikes; the app would also tell users how many miles the bike could range based on its battery. Besides, markers that show an orange bag with a LimeBike logo on them mean these bikes are bonus bikes, meaning people could get a dollar off coupon after riding bonus bikes for five minutes or more. People now have more choices on bikes, and it makes LimeBike great fun. Riders can use their phone to scan the QR code shown on LimeBikes to unlock a bike when they have promos or balance in their account. After riding a bike, users can park the bike in proper places wherever a bike is allowed, and close the back lock to finalize the trip.
How electric-assist bikes work is very simple. They have a maximum speed of 14.8 mph, and their 62-mile maximum range when the battery is filled up means people can travel a long distance with less effort. Riders do not have to turn the electric assist feature on or off. The motor is always running, increasing and decreasing the amount of electric assistance that it provides based on how fast the rider is peddling. When the rider pedals slowly, the e-bike would turn up the electric assistance. From a rider’s experience while riding up a hill, “I briefly feared I was pedaling so slowly I might roll backward but the electric assist immediately ramped up, helping me climb the hill without much effort.”
The price is reasonable, it costs one dollar to unlock a Lime-E bike, and people pay 10 cents per minute or a dollar for every 10 minutes the bike is unlocked. Compared to its original model, the analog LimeBikes cost one dollar on every 30 minutes of ride time.
In the meanwhile, people need to preserve the LimeBikes by parking them in appropriate locations and taking good care of them so as to give the best bike-riding experience to other users.
LimeBike also announced another new model of scooters shortly after the release of Lime-E. At some point in the future, there could be another electric, hill-climbing option: LimeBike scooters around Seattle. I am looking forward to using LimeBike scooters, which are called “Lime-S”. Hopefully, the company could spread more bikes beyond Seattle to places like Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond; then more people would be able to ride a LimeBike to school and back home.