A new fleet of electric mopeds is hitting the streets of New York City. Lime released 100 of its bright green vehicles on Friday, with plans to expand to 500 before the end of the month. In contrast to its blue counterpart, Revel, the company promises increased safety features and lower start-up costs.
Lime partnered with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to design a 10-minute safety training video and test that each rider will have to complete before beginning their first ride. The bikes feature infrared sensors to confirm that riders are using the provided helmets throughout their trip and employ an app to verify their driver’s license through facial recognition. Speeds will top out at 28 mph. By launching with these features in place, Lime hopes to avoid the controversy that forced Revel to temporarily shutter last year after three fatal accidents occurred on their mopeds.
The company also hopes to set itself apart with a more appealing pricing structure. There will be no start-up fees, instead, new riders will get the first 15 minutes of their first ride for free. Each subsequent ride will cost 39 cents per minute, in addition to a $1 base fee for unlocking the bike. By comparison, Revel charges a one-time fee of $19 for new riders and 49 cents per minute on top of the $1 base fee.
Though new to New York, Lime is already an established presence offering e-bike and e-scooter rentals in cities throughout Europe and the United States, including Paris, London, Berlin, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco. In addition to the fleet of mopeds, Lime will be launching 1,000 electric scooters as part of a low-cost pilot program in the Bronx this summer.
“The pandemic has pushed New Yorkers to look for new ways to get around that are safe, sustainable and car-free, which makes us so excited to launch two new electric micromobility options here in the next few months,” says Lime CEO Wayne Ting.
For now, vehicles are available in Brooklyn, Queens, and Lower Manhattan. As the service spreads throughout the city, they will also be offering financial aid through programs like Lime Access and Lime Aid, which will provide discounts to frontline workers and New Yorkers who are eligible for state, local, and/or federal aid.