After 2 million rides, Lime upgrades e-scooter fleet with locking mechanism, swappable batteries

Lime can boast two million rides on their scooters and the company wants to show the City of Portland they’re ready for a long-term relationship.

As we reported last week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is looking for one or two scooter operators to take over the existing pilot program and provide a larger fleet and other upgrades in exchange for less competition and a more stable contract. One of the major changes PBOT has asked prospective vendors to make is a locking mechanism that would allow scooters to be attached to designated parking stalls.

Lime says their new Gen4 scooters are up to the task. The company announced today they’ve begun to swap out their existing fleet with upgraded scooters that include a cable lock to encourage riders to lock them to bike racks and other designated parking spots. “This will decrease street clutter and promote safety, improving the micromobility experience for everyone in the city including non-riders and other pedestrians,” a Lime statement said.

With more scooters parked in racks, PBOT will need to work extra hard to make sure there are ample spaces available for bicycle users.

(Source: Lime)

The upgraded Lime scooters will also include swappable, interchangeable batteries. That means maintenance crews can re-charge scooters more efficiently in the field without having to round them up. This will reduce the vehicle miles traveled of Lime maintenance vehicles and lead to fewer carbon emissions.

Other new features of Lime’s Gen4 model are swept-back handlebars (“reminiscent of bike handles” the company says), an improved kickstand, better brakes, beefier suspension and larger wheels, and a lower deck.

Lime has operated scooters in Portland since the first pilot program began in 2018 and will soon announce riders have taken over two million rides. The company has over 1,100 scooters on the ground in Portland, more than any other vendor. They expect a full fleet swap to be completed in the next few weeks.

PBOT says all current scooter vendors can operate through fall 2022 until a new vendor (or vendors) are chosen.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 year ago

Maybe school districts could try a pilot program that if a student is more than 1 mile (just to pull a number out of thin air) away from school they get a stipend to use Lime (or other scooters) to get to school.
I know I’m an old fogey now, but if these had been available when I had to walk several miles to school I would have jumped on in a heart beat.
Anyway, going back to yelling at the clouds.

CDD
CDD
1 year ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Yah, and keep a lawyer on hand if Little Timmie shows up with a bloody lip/arm after falling off a school supplied subsidy for said Lime scooter…

mark
mark
1 year ago

“With more scooters parked in racks, PBOT will need to work extra hard to make sure there are ample spaces available for bicycle users.”

Not feeling too optimistic about this aspect.

EEE
EEE
1 year ago

What do they do with the old ones? Landfill? Not sure how swapping out each “generation” amounts to a “sustainable” scooter. Will *this* generation be the last one?

Terry Jefferson
Terry Jefferson
1 year ago
Reply to  EEE

The older generations are sent to different cities

Terry Jefferson
Terry Jefferson
1 year ago
Reply to  EEE

Older model scooters will go to another market

X
X
1 year ago

This.is.bull.shit. When scooters first showed up, there was a rule that they were supposed to be parked 4 feet from bike racks. Also ADA infrastructure and a a bunch of other stuff. Users and contractors proceded to ignore all that. Now the city is rolling over to explicitly allow a scooter business to lock up at public racks installed for temporary bike parking?

Park the scooters at the orange racks that bikeshare has no use for, how about that? If the city is going to allow global corporations to franchise carshare, scooters and similar operations to use public space they need do it in a way that doesn’t negatively impact local citizens. AKA voters and taxpayers.

Don’t get me wrong, 23 kg is the perfect weight for a motor vehicle. I don’t hate scooters but PBOT is giving me a rash.

ivan
ivan
1 year ago

I haven’t ridden the scooters (because, bike) but if I’m a user, what’s motivating me to find a rack to lock the scooter to rather than just parking it somewhere?

Not trolling. Genuinely curious about the idea.

Tim
Tim
1 year ago
Reply to  ivan

They require you to take a picture of how you parked it and they fine you if you park it wrong. They can enforce however they’re required to have you park.

X
X
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

So, to use a scooter you have to create digital image files which are then sent back and forth, uploaded, stored, and presumably searched for and viewed if a violation is reported?

The cost per image is not much but how long will we keep spinning a hard drive full of scooter parking pictures? If existing hard drives fill up with banal crap we’ll just build more I guess.

That’s what desert is for, stacking up garbage and spreading out windowless buildings that we pour cooling water and electricity into.

Joe
Joe
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

I checked one of these out not knowing about the new parking requirements, and I was irked because there was no bike racks anywhere near my destination! I locked it to a signpost, took the picture, and haven’t received any fine yet. I was just wondering about it and got on here to see what I could find out about it. If it was a law or what. ???

RC
RC
1 year ago
Reply to  ivan

Actually several things. For one. You can’t end your scooter ride unless the bike has been locked up and the app knows if you haven’t. Second the picture. Which isn’t foolproof. Just something that helps in some cases. Third the new bikes automatically slow the top speed when it detects your in a pedestrian or area where fast riding isn’t appropriate, it also auto detects if your in an area where you are not supposed to ride at all and will shut down entirely, forcing user to exit area to resume ride. It is in development but supposedly can detect in some cases if your riding on a sidewalk and will do the same thing. Lastly if it detects your trying to park someplace you should not like say on a bridge or someplace stupid. It refuses to end your ride and charges you until you park someplace appropriate. I’m very impressed with how lime has been attempting to address and stop issues that have plagued the scooters. They may not be perfect yet but of all the brands so far. They are listening and making solid efforts to fix issues. Since the new ones rolled out. I’ve already noticed huge improvements from parking to bad rider behavior and such. As for the Nike bike racks. They are not being allowed to use those by Nike btw. Poles and bike racks meant for bikes (which keep them out of the middle of sidewalks and such) while if locked using new locks on scooters. Also make them stop ending places like Rivers and peoples yards as well. Again. Nothing is perfect. But you can’t fault a company for truly trying to fix the biggest problems. What if like to actually see next is the city crack down on the users who destroy, vandalize and break them simply for the fun of it. If you think about it, a lot of the crap people hate about them is caused by destructive criminally minded people who destroy things just because they can. Long answer I know but hopefully adds some clarity to some of the misconceptions of how lime is progressing.

Serenity
Serenity
1 year ago

Does this mean there will be more racks that people can’t lock their bikes to?

Matt
Matt
1 year ago

As a mountain bike enthusiast, I feel obligated to scoff at them declaring the front suspension to be “mountain bike-inspired” when it looks to have all of 10 mm or so of travel (a typical mountain bike nowadays has perhaps 140 mm of travel).

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

Yeah but in reducing thier workforce overnight with no warning they leave those still looking to make money stranded or at least the fleet manager in Denver did then he made false accusations and had my account deactivated. Be awake they will not be in central locations and the new kickstand does not keep them up if those are determined to not respect the ride. The riders will park them anywhere and there is no way to report but so many a day which was an idea I asked for which was listed as a reason for my deactivation. They will have maybe 14 people covering 2000 scooters trust me your streets stayed a lot nicer with Gen 3

AndyK
1 year ago

The new gen models look cool. I’m glad they found a compromise/design and users can lock them up to something, or park in designated spots. Now our sidewalks will be completely free of clutter!

The vocal minority can stay mad online and we’ll have our e-scooter fun (at $20/hour) while it lasts.