Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

London gets its first dockless e-bike hire scheme with Lime

US firm brings its distinctive green bikes to boroughs of Ealing and Brent

London’s first dockless bike share scheme offering electric-assist bikes started operations yesterday as US-based Lime began deploying 1,000 of its bright green bikes in the boroughs of Ealing and Brent.

The move comes just a week after the San Mateo, California-based company entered the UK market by setting up a similar scheme in Milton Keynes.

The bikes, branded Lime-E – as they are in other countries, meaning any similarity to the US slang term ‘Limey’ is presumably coincidental – have a rechargeable lithium battery and a maximum speed of 14.8mph.

The bikes can be unlocked for £1 via a smartphone app – available via the Lime UK website – then cost 15p for each minute they are used.

A 10-minute journey, therefore, including the unlocking fee, would cost £1 more than a single bus fare – irrespective of length of trip – which stands at £1.50.

Jaanaki Momaya, general manager of Lime UK, commented: “We’re excited to usher in a new era of smart urban mobility in London.

“Our local operations team is working hand-in-hand with city officials to ensure that Lime fits seamlessly into London’s robust transportation network.”

Founded only in January last year, Lime is now present in around 100 cities in the US and 15 countries worldwide, including Australia, France, Germany and Spain.

Besides standard bicycles and e-bikes, it also provides electric scooter hire in a number of countries but won’t be doing so in the UK due to current Department for Transport rules.

The launch of its e-bike rental service comes five years after former Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced plans to trial an electric version of the city’s cycle hire scheme to serve hillier parts of north London including Muswell Hill and Crouch End from a central hub at Finsbury Park, although the scheme never materialised.

https://road.cc/content/news/97205-boris-e-bikes-set-be-trialled-north-l...

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Add new comment

7 comments

Avatar
Kendalred | 5 years ago
0 likes

Given it's an e-bike, does that mean that when they are chucked into the local canal, they electrocute the fish?

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet | 5 years ago
0 likes

Who uses these at those prices? If I went to work on one it would cost over £4 each way. Soon becomes cheaper to buy your own bso.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Yorkshire wallet | 5 years ago
0 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

Who uses these at those prices? If I went to work on one it would cost over £4 each way. Soon becomes cheaper to buy your own bso.

I tried the Bristol scheme (Yobikes) once as I was walking back from a pub in town (a couple of miles away) and had already installed the app and gotten a £1 free credit. (However, after a mile or so, I gave up on it as I was struggling to get up a hill on it - they're a lot heavier than my road bike).

Avatar
adambowie replied to hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

I tried the Bristol scheme (Yobikes) once as I was walking back from a pub in town (a couple of miles away) and had already installed the app and gotten a £1 free credit. (However, after a mile or so, I gave up on it as I was struggling to get up a hill on it - they're a lot heavier than my road bike).

Don't forget that unlike most of the other dockless bike schemes we've had to date in the UK, these are e-bikes! 

I tried out a couple of these in Berlin recently, and yes, they're not super-cheap. But they're dead easy to ride because the electric assist kicks in very quickly. I didn't come across any steep hills in Berlin, but it was a breeze to ride. They're a vast improvement on those cheap Chinese made bikes that most of the dockless schemes use. For starters, if you're over 6ft you can still easily ride them. I too couldn't get one of those up a modest local hill - more because it was like riding a kid's bike.

I can't tell from the picture here, but the ones I tried in Germany even had a mount for your phone so you could fire up Google Maps and navigate around the place nice and easily.

Of course it'd probably make better sense to buy a bike in the medium or longer term, but not everyone has a place to keep a bike (especially in cities like London), or wants an alternative to taking a bike with them. And if you're a tourist, I can easily see them making sense.

Avatar
Butty | 5 years ago
0 likes

On the Lime UK website:

"Lime Safety"

2 Don't ride your Lime on the pavement

Yanke-E failure to research local legislation........

 

 

 

 

 

Avatar
CygnusX1 replied to Butty | 5 years ago
0 likes
Butty wrote:

On the Lime UK website:

"Lime Safety"

2 Don't ride your Lime on the pavement

Yanke-E failure to research local legislation.......

How? Last time I checked it was still technically illegal to ride on the pavement (footway) in the UK, although the home secretary has advised police to be lenient.

If you wanted to pick on Lime for ignorance of the law, you only needed to go as far as:

1. Always wear a helmet.

But I very much doubt their 4 point safety guidelines was meant to encompass local road traffic law.

Avatar
handlebarcam | 5 years ago
3 likes

Stop littering our cities with your gaudily-painted, bicycle-shaped objects. Public spaces are not warehouses for anybody who wants to mine data and rake-in investment cash for a year or two, before buggering off to jump on the next trend.

Latest Comments