MILWAUKEE — Lime scooters have officially launched in Milwaukee.
Lime is dropping an initial fleet of 500 scooters in the city after receiving final approval. They will be rolled out throughout the week.
Mayor Tom Barrett said they will be evenly spread out in three different areas of the city. The main area is Zone 1, which is basically downtown. There will be 80% of Lime's 500 scooter fleet in that area. In Zones 2 & 3, the north and south sides, 100 scooters will be there.
"The city has an incentivization structure so you can increase your fleet in the downtown area if you serve zones 2 and 3," said Nico Probst, Lime's director of Midwest government relations. "Zones 2 and 3 are the city's focus on equally distributing. They are areas where transit options are a little more limited, and they would like to increase and incentivize vendors like ourselves to have our scooter fleets over there to increase ridership."
To ride the scooters, it costs $1 to unlock through a mobile phone app and 25 cents per minute. However, Lime has a program called "Lime Access," which offers a discounted rate for those who qualify.
"It's meant to create a more affordable transportation option for any individual that qualifies for assistance programs," Probst said. "They can qualify for a heavily discounted rate of ride; 50 cents to unlock and 7 cents a minute. More than a 50% discount on the ride. It makes it really affordable."
The Department of Public Works said the goal to allow dockless scooters from Lime into the city is to increase transportation options, expand access to transit and fulfill last-minute connections, and evaluate impacts on access to the public right of way.
"Milwaukee's forward-thinking commitment to providing its community with diverse transportation options is inspiring," said a Lime representative in a news release. "We are excited to partner with the city on that goal and help better connect communities across Milwaukee with our fleet of electric scooters that make it easier and more affordable to get around."
As the scooters were dropped all over downtown early Tuesday afternoon, riders slowly but surely walked up to figure them out.
"I'm excited," said Kate Johannes of Wauwatosa. "It's very trendy and urban. I think it'll bring people down here and get people outside."
"This is kind of fresh and young and makes getting around more fun," said Amelia Funari, a Junior at Marquette.
Funari was with her brother and a friend to test out the scooters. Her brother is visiting from Germany, where he says these kind of scooters are popular.
"Public transport is important for the people because people are the city," Gino Funari said. "When you can get around easier, it makes the city a little more alive."
"It's very trendy and urban. I think it'll bring people down here and get people outside." — Kate Johannes of Wauwatosa
The maximum speed limit for dockless scooters is 15 mph, and Lime says all riders must wear a helmet. Users must obey the rules of the road. Riding on the sidewalk is prohibited, and riders are not allowed to park on the Riverwalk.
Lime has also been informed by the city to tell riders how to safely use its scooters. The company is also responsible for handling all complaints and provide necessary education and training.
For more information on Lime scooters, click here.