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Bike-Share Company Lime Debuts E-Scooters in Meridian


- The Lime e-scooters were first seen by a Valley Regional Transit employee at the corner of Locust Grove Road and Fairview Avenue. -  - VALLEY REGIONAL TRANSIT SENIOR PLANNER STEPHEN HUNT
  • Valley Regional Transit Senior Planner Stephen Hunt
  • The Lime e-scooters were first seen by a Valley Regional Transit employee at the corner of Locust Grove Road and Fairview Avenue.
E-scooters from Lime have started rolling in Meridian.

A Valley Regional Transit employee saw a row of the scooters at the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Locust Grove Road on Sept. 27, and took a photograph that eventually made its way to Boise Weekly.

According to Gabriel Scheer, Lime's Director of Government Affairs, approximately 200 e-scooters have been deployed across the city, and a "handful" of employees have been hired to manage the program, including administration and maintenance. There is an open Craigslist ad for "Lime Juicers"—people who charge the scooters at their homes. No bikes have been deployed yet, and Scheer didn't say when the company will do that.

"We rolled out this morning with scooters, and we're really excited to now be live in the Treasure Valley," Scheer said.

Meridian has a memorandum of understanding with Lime that gives the company rights to deploy a fleet of bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters there. According to Meridian City Council Vice President Luke Cavener, the agreement aligned with the transportation ambitions of Idaho's second-largest city.

"I'm a fan, personally, of finding as many different transportation options for our community as possible," he said. "As a valley, we have to be innovative with what we look at as public transit. We can't just be buses anymore, and to me, having resources like bike-shares contribute to that."

Some cities, including Seattle and Dallas, have experienced problems with bike-share programs and e-scooters, which have been abandoned in the right-of-way, damaged or stolen, or otherwise used inappropriately. Cavener said Meridian's MOU with Lime contains clauses designed to preempt or mitigate those concerns.

"My business takes me to Seattle on a regular basis, and I saw litter in various places, and so we have some real specific protections built into our agreement. Lime can be held liable," he said.

Meanwhile, Scheer said Lime has already filed paperwork with the City of Boise to deploy a fleet of its vehicles in the City of Trees.

"We're ready to go as soon as the city says so," he said.

Lime first dropped onto Boise's radar this spring, when Scheer delivered a presentation on its bike-share service to the Boise City Council. In July, the council voted to establish a set of ordinances that created a licensure program for bike-share companies to do business in Boise; established a 250-device maximum for each licensee; and limited the total number of devices rolled out among all licensees to 750.