Lime Is the Newest Dockless Bike Share Company to Brave the Streets of Sydney

The Californian company has rolled out its electric-assist Lime-E bikes across the city.
Libby Curran
Published on November 09, 2018

If you've stepped foot outside recently, you'll probably have noticed Sydney has scored a bevvy of new neon-green arrivals. First appearing in early November, the distinctive vehicles of US-born bike share company Lime has now taken over the city.

You might be thinking it's a strange time to be rolling out yet another bike share service in Sydney, and you're not wrong. A swag of international share bike companies like Reddy Go and oBike launched in Australia, but had a rough time gaining traction locally, as councils crack down on dumping and vandalism issues spurred by the new dockless systems.

But strict laws and stories of ill-fated predecessors don't appear to have deterred Lime, which has this week launched a fleet of its Lime-E electric-assist bicycles across Sydney. These work much the same as others we've seen — you locate a nearby bike using the Lime app, unlock it by scanning a QR code or entering an ID, cruise to your destination, then park and lock the bike safely out of the way.

The difference between other dockless bikes and Lime-E, is its lithium battery, which the company says allows users to ride up to 14.8 mph (23.8kmh) without breaking a sweat — even when venturing uphill. The bikes' batteries (which last for about 80 kilometres) will be supposedly monitored and replaced regularly by the company, and can be checked by tapping the Lime-E icon on the app.

Each of the vehicles is also equipped with a sensor, which can tell the operators its location, elevation and even orientation — a feature which may or may not help curb bike dumping.

In Sydney, it'll cost you $1 to unlock a Lime-E and 30 cents per minute for your ride.

The Californian company's perhaps best known for its dockless electric scooters, which first hit the streets of Auckland and Christchurch last month. A week-long trial of the two-wheeled vehicles is also underway on campus, at Monash University in Clayton, Melbourne. The scooters are gaining popularity across the globe, with even Uber signing up as a strategic partner.

Unfortunately, given that NSW road safety laws currently state that "powered foot scooters and skateboards cannot be registered and can only be used on private land", it doesn't look like we'll be seeing a Sydney launch of Lime's e-scooters anytime soon.

While we don't have high hopes for the success of this new bike sharing service, we do hope it's better monitored, and the neon green bikes don't end up clogging footpaths, parks and waterways, like the others did.

The Lime App is available to download now via the app store. 

Published on November 09, 2018 by Libby Curran
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