Earlier this week, Limebike became the first of the bike-share companies operating in Seattle to add electric bikes, called “Lime-E,” to its fleet, making using a shared bike a little more accessible on Seattle’s hills.
At some point in the future, there could be another electric, hill-climbing option: scooters.
Limebike has electric scooters—which its calling “Lime-S”—at the ready, although they haven’t officially launched anywhere yet. The vehicles are currently being tested in cities within the San Francisco Bay area.
“As for Seattle,” said Limebike spokesperson Mary Caroline Pruitt over email, “we’ve had collaborative discussions with the city about scooters, and while we don’t have any specifics to share at this time, we hope to bring Lime-S to Seattle in the future.”
The Seattle Department of Transportation, which oversees the city’s bike shares, had a similar response: nothing to share at this time, but the idea is intriguing. It couldn’t operate under the current framework for bike shares, though.
“The city is always interested to learn about new transportation options, but has not yet received any proposals about free-floating electric scooter share,” said a statement from SDOT shared with Curbed Seattle over email. “The idea would require close examination for feasibility and development of its own permit program.”
Lime-S bikes are standing scooters—less moped, more Razor—with a 250-watt motor and a 37-mile travel range, which, depending on the route, could get a rider as far as Tacoma from downtown Seattle. The price point is the same: $1 to unlock and 10 cents for every minute of ride time.
“The multi-model mobility solution also helps to meet the various needs of that first and last mile transportation challenge,” said Limebike CEO Toby Sun in a blog post announcing the scooters.
The scooters do provide another option for people that have issues with cycling—never learned, busted knees, or a host of reasons why bicycles aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. But it’ll likely be a decent amount of time before they’re available in the Seattle area.