At least four people have complained to the city of Meridian that Lime’s new electric scooters have blocked sidewalks or caused other problems.
Lime, one of the country’s foremost bicycle- and scooter-sharing companies, launched service Thursday in Meridian, its first Idaho market, with 200 electric scooters. Customers unlock the scooters through a mobile app and rent them for 15 cents a minute.
Kaycee Emery, a city spokeswoman, said Friday that she was surprised at how popular the scooters became in one day. She saw six people using the scooters Friday as she drove on her lunch break along Main Street between City Hall and Fairview Avenue — a distance of about half a mile.
But as in other markets where Lime and its bike- and scooter-sharing competitors operate, problems occur when customers abandon the scooters in places they shouldn’t be left. Emery said Meridian police, Ada County Highway District workers and the Idaho Transportation Department have removed the scooters from problem areas.
It’s unclear where, exactly, customers should leave shared scooters and bicycles when they’re done using them. A Lime spokeswoman did not immediately return a phone call Friday. The company’s how-to video shows a customer riding a scooter on the street and leaving it standing up on a sidewalk.
Meridian’s city attorney believes state law prohibits riding motorized scooters on sidewalks, Emery said. City and highway district officials plan to meet with Lime’s representatives Tuesday to discuss the problem and try to find a solution.
Meanwhile, Lime and Bird, another bike- and scooter-sharing company, have applied for licenses to operate in Boise, said Craig Croner, the city’s administrative services manager. The city passed an ordinance in August that sets ground rules for bike-sharing services.
Between the ordinance, license applications, conversations with the companies’ representatives and a policy document that details the city’s expectations of the companies, Croner said, Boise is trying to avoid the problems Meridian has encountered.
Meridian actually may have received more than four complaints, Emery said, but she hadn’t heard of them.