Dockless electric bikes have arrived in Sydney. Last week 300 bright green bikes were distributed within the city centre, signifying the launch of US-based transportation start-up Lime.
Also known for its electrified scooters, Lime launched a three month electric scooter pilot at Monash University in Melbourne last week.
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The bike and scooter rental company was launched in 2017 and has raised a total of US$467 million, including a recent US$335 million round which Uber participated in.
Lime will be keen to avoid the fate of other dockless bike companies which have come and gone, saying it has worked closely with local authorities “to make sure risks and safety concerns have been carefully considered and mitigated prior to launch.”
Mitchell Price, Lime director of government affairs and strategy in Australia and New Zealand, said Lime has worked closely with local authorities and stakeholders to ensure the bikes compliment Sydney’s existing transport network.
“The advantage of our electric bikes is they work together with existing public transit by increasing the accessibility of public transport so people can rely less on personal cars,” Price said.
“Sydney’s need for innovative transport solutions, which cater to the first and last mile, gives us confidence we will see high uptake of Lime electric bikes within the community,” he said.
A spokesperson for City of Sydney Council told Which-50 Lime has committed to following the bike share guidelines, which were devised by six Sydney councils in late 2017.
“Bike share is an important sustainable transport option for Sydney that can help keep our city moving,” the spokesperson said.
“Lime has committed to operating within the guidelines developed by inner Sydney councils last year. We expect responsible and safe deployment and parking of bikes, and rider education.
“The NSW government promised legislation to help landholders manage share bikes, and consulted stakeholders on an enforceable code of practice. We are looking forward to seeing the regulations and how they will practically apply in Sydney.”
Lime is predicting the electric bikes and scooters will prove popular with Australians over the summer months.
The bikes contain a lithium battery, which is replaced every two days by operational staff, and allows users to ride at speeds up to 23.8km/h. A local team of 50 operations specialists and mechanics have been employed in Sydney to respond to all customer enquiries.
Earlier this year ride sharing company Taxify announced its plans to bring electric scooters to Melbourne, but didn’t specify a date.