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Lime to add patrols to help keep scooter users off sidewalks

Posted at 5:28 PM, Aug 07, 2019

MILWAUKEE — Lime is taking matters into their own hands to make sure scooters stay in Milwaukee.

Mayor Tom Barrett halted applications to bring more scooters to the city last Friday due to complaints of riders on the sidewalks.

Five hundred lime scooters have been in Milwaukee for a couple weeks now, and while they've proven to be popular, the city has one major problem, scooters taking over the sidewalks and endangering pedestrian safety.

E-scooter rider Carleon Outlaw told TODAY'S TMJ4 that's where he feels the safest.

"It was hard dodging cars when they came, up and I had to look all four ways instead of like the natural ways when you're driving," he said.

Mayor Barrett calls it a generational issue resulting in the city halting other e-scooter company applications to come here.

"Older people, people with disabilities, people with pets don't particularly like them. I find a lot of young people love these," he said.

Milwaukee police have yet to give a single citation to riders on sidewalks.

"I want the Milwaukee Police Department to be focusing on reducing reckless driving in this city and reducing violent crime," Barrett said.

Without police enforcement, Lime is taking it upon themselves to put what they call 'Lime Patrols' in the most popular scooter destinations like here in the Third Ward. Lime said two of their employee's will be out monitoring Milwaukee's streets and sidewalks each day.

Lime is also reminding customers through their smartphone app.

"One of those things is putting an in-app message that pops up for every user so they see that they shouldn't be riding on the sidewalks and using the roadway," Lime representative, Nico Probst, said.

Probst says customers also receive an email warning against using the devices on the sidewalks once their ride is complete.

"I think what you see in every city that we operate that the user behavior gets better over time and that makes sense, right?" Probst said.

"I do feel that people should obey the law if they're going to use the scooters, so if it says use it on the street, use it on the street," said Julvania Correa of Milwaukee.

While Lime is currently the only e-scooter company in Milwaukee, Barrett said he doesn't want the company to have a monopoly here. He said if riders stay off the sidewalks, Bird and Spin will be allowed to bring scooters to Milwaukee as well.

How does the cost of renting lime scooters compare to other cities? In Minneapolis, it's 20-cents per minute, plus the $1 fee to begin the rental. In Milwaukee, it's 25 cents per minute plus the $1 fee.