Lime (transportation company)
A Lime bicycle in Seattle, July 2017
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California|
Neutron Holdings, Inc. dba Lime, formerly LimeBike, is a transportation-rental company, based in the United States. It runs bicycle, scooter, and car sharing systems in various cities. The systems offer dockless vehicles which users unlock via a mobile app. Lime's charges typically start at $1/1€ for a 30-minute ride on the traditional bikes, while its fleet of electric bicycles and electric scooters in America cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute.
- 1 History
- 2 Controversy
- 3 Equipment and usage
- 4 Locations
- 4.1 United States
- 4.2 Outside United States
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
LimeBike was founded in January 2017 and raised $12 million in venture funding led by Andreessen Horowitz in March 2017. The company's first location, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, launched in June 2017 with 125 bicycles.
LimeBike expanded in July 2017 to the cities of Key Biscayne, Florida, South Bend, Indiana, and South Lake Tahoe, California. On July 27, 2017, LimeBike launched with 500 bicycles in Seattle, Washington, becoming the city's second bikeshare operator.
The company closed a Series B round of venture funding in October 2017, announcing that it was valued at $225 million. A $335 million funding round in 2018 led to a valuation of $1.1 billion for the company, making it a unicorn.
Lime's scooters have caused deaths in Austin, St. Louis, Washington D.C., and Dallas. Lime's user agreement attempts to avoid liability: it requires users to agree that Lime's "products are machines that may malfunction, even if the products are properly maintained, and that such malfunction may cause injury."
Lime's scooters have been the subject of multiple recalls. In October 2018, weeks after internal concerns "about whether the company was doing enough to address safety risks with its scooters," Lime recalled thousands of scooters for "smoldering, or in some cases, catching fire. In November 2018, Lime again recalled more scooters on reports that the scooters could "break in half".
Poor relationships with cities
Lime has been criticized for its approach towards municipalities, including ignoring local laws. In February 2019, a Lime user was placed in a vegetative state after Lime's app instructed her to break local law on riding scooters. In September 2018, Lime sued San Francisco for denying it a permit after Lime had previously began operating in San Francisco without permission and received a cease-and-desist.  Lime has received cease-and-desist letters from numerous cities, including Reno, San Francisco, Indianapolis, and others.
Lime does not require users to verify their age, allowing children to ride their scooters.
Relationship with Definers
In November 2018, TechCrunch reported that Lime had engaged Definers Public Affairs, a PR firm known for spreading "anti-semitic conspiracy theories" about George Soros, to send "mudslinging pitches" for Lime about its competitors. 
Lime has been criticized for its environmental practices. In St. Louis, after removing its bicycles from the city, thousands of Lime bicycles were found in a landfill instead of being recycled. They were cut in half and unable to be salvaged.
Equipment and usage
Lime uses green-colored commuter bikes equipped with GPS units and 3G connectivity. The bicycles also feature a front basket, a solar panel, and a smart lock. A mobile app is used to locate nearby bicycles and scan a QR code to unlock bicycles, which play a short chime. Rides cost $1 for every 30 minutes of use.
Shortly after the release of Lime-E (electric bikes), Lime-S electric scooters were also announced. In April 2018, these scooters were the subject of controversy after Lime left several hundred of them on the streets of US cities without the permission of municipal authorities; public criticism of the project increased in June when it emerged that the scooters were programmed to play a recording of the message "Unlock me to ride me, or I'll call the police" repeatedly, at high volume, when their controls were touched.
In May 2018, the company announced plans to begin development of transit pods, small self-driving electric vehicles. Lime applied for car-sharing permits in Seattle in October 2018 and later launched a service in December 2018 with a fleet of Fiat 500 Lounge cars branded as "LimePod."
Lime currently operates in the following cities:
- Alameda, California
- Albany, California
- Arlington, Massachusetts
- Arlington, Texas
- Aurora, Colorado
- Austin, Texas
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Bellevue, Washington
- Bloomington, Indiana
- Boise, Idaho
- Suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts[note 1]
- Bothell, Washington
- Burlingame, California
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chicago, Illinois
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Clayton, Missouri
- Columbia, Missouri
- Columbus, Ohio
- Dallas, Texas
- Denver, Colorado
- Detroit, Michigan
- Dublin, Ohio
- Durham, North Carolina
- Edina, Minnesota
- El Cerrito, California
- Elkhart, Indiana
- Elmira, New York
- Farmville, North Carolina
- Ferguson, Missouri
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Golden Valley, Minnesota
- Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Imperial Beach, California
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Ithaca, New York
- Keyport, New Jersey
- Lafayette, Louisiana
- Long Beach, California
- Los Angeles, California
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Little Rock, Arkansas
- Lubbock, Texas
- Key Biscayne, Florida
- Meridian, Idaho
- Mesa, Arizona
- Metuchen, New Jersey
- Miami Shores, Florida
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Mobile, Alabama
- Monrovia, California
- Mountain View, California
- Nashville, Tennessee
- National City, California
- New York City
- North Bay Village, Florida
- North Miami, Florida
- University of Central Florida, Florida
- Oakland, California
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Plainfield, New Jersey
- Plano, Texas
- Portland, Oregon
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Reno, Nevada
- Rockford, Illinois
- Saint Paul, Minnesota
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- San Antonio, Texas
- San Diego, California
- San Jose, California
- Scottsdale, Arizona
- Seattle, Washington
- Spokane, Washington
- South Bend, Indiana
- South Lake Tahoe, California
- South San Francisco, California
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Sunnyvale, California
- Tempe, Arizona
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Wake Forest, North Carolina
- Walnut Creek, California
- Washington, D.C.
- Watkins Glen, New York
- West Yellowstone, Montana (summer months only)
- White Plains, New York
- Worthington, Ohio
- Yonkers, New York
Lime also operates on the following US college campuses:
- Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
- Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida
- California State University, Northridge
- East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
- Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky
- Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina
- Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
- Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia
- Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina
- Holy Cross College, Saint Mary's College, and University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
- Indiana University South Bend, South Bend, Indiana
- Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
- North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
- San Jose State University, San Jose, California
- University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
- University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina
- University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama
- University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
- The Ohio State University,Columbus, Ohio
- The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
- Washington University of St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
- Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
- Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
And the following international campuses:
Outside United States
- Paris, France
- Bordeaux, France (suspended)
- Lyon, France
- Toulouse, France (suspended)
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- "Lime Bikes Were Supposed to Make St. Louis a Cyclist's City. Now They're Trash".
- "Lime Bikes Were Supposed to Make St. Louis a Cyclist's City. Now They're Trash".
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- "Lime applies for car-sharing service in Seattle". Puget Sound Business Journal. October 29, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
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- "Trotinetes elétricas da Lime já estão em Lisboa!" (in Portuguese). Lisbon. 2018-10-04. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
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