Geographically, San Francisco is easily the skate park of cities. With a combination of steep hills and smooth roadways, it's a fun place to experience on wheels. And if you're looking for alternate modes of transportation, bikes and skateboards aren't your only options anymore. Lime electric scooters are coming to San Francisco, so get ready to see them on the road much more often.
Thanks to a new Powered Scooter Share Permit, 500 Lime Scooters will now be permitted for road use in San Francisco and by February 2020, that number will double. AKA, there's going to be a constant blur of lime green whooshing past you on the road, so whether you're the one riding or driving alongside, you'll want to know how to co-exist peacefully.
According to transportation experts who spoke with USA Today, the influx of electric scooters on the roads in lieu of cars could actually lead to a decrease in traffic jams. That, along with the fact that a Lime electric scooter share can be much cheaper than a car or rideshare during rush hour, will make opting for electrically powered vehicles attractive to many commuters. Here's everything you need to know if you've never used a Lime scooter before but want to give it a go:
Download The App
Head to the app store and download the Lime App. You'll need this in order to rent a scooter. On the app, you can find a scooter near you, get easy directions to that location, and directions for how to unlock it and get going. First you'll sync a credit card with the app so that you can purchase your first ride. It's $1 to unlock the scooter, and then a charge per minute as you ride. Per minute rates for the Lime scooter change depending on the city and the time of day. There's a scan-able code on each scooter that your Lime app will be able to read and that will let you know the current rate before you decide to unlock it.
Find A Scooter
Your app will let you know where to find the closest scooter to your current GPS location. If there are no available scooters near you, the app will give you walking directions to the next closest station. Because there are only 500 Lime electric scooters available to use in San Francisco at the moment, you might have to spend some time tracking them down, especially if it's rush hour. Once you unlock your scooter, give it a once-over to make sure nothing looks broken or out of place.
Ride It Safely
I know, it looks easy to ride a scooter — kids do it all the time. But an using an electric scooter can be quite dangerous if you're not paying attention to what you and other cars on the road are doing. Though not all cities require them, you should definitely wear a helmet when riding in traffic, too.
To use the Lime electric scooter, find a safe place to join traffic (pretend you're a car) and get on the road with caution by stepping onto the scooter with one foot and pushing off gently with the other. You don't need to push hard because once you rev up the accelerator on the right handlebar, you're going to get an electric boost. The scooter goes up to 37 miles per hour, and although that can feel really fast, don't get on the freeway.
To use the breaks on the Lime scooter, squeeze the hand breaks with your left hand and right hand. And even if you're not breaking, keep at least your left hand on that break so that it's easy to reach. You'll want to use the break going down hill, as well. Avoid pot holes and follow all traffic laws. Aka, you have to stop at red lights and stop signs, and you need to signal before turning.
Do not ride on the sidewalk. Though it might feel safer for you, it's way more dangerous for pedestrians. And TBH, some pedestrians are already pretty mad about the scooters, so if you want the city to embrace them, follow the rules.
Park The Scooter
Once you're finished using your Lime electric scooter, you should never block a driveway or park near a curb, handicap ramp, or private property. If you have to run into a store for a few minutes or have a short meeting, you might find that it's easier to keep the meter running, aka "pause a ride" instead of ending your ride and allowing others to use it. Just make sure that you always park it in a safe place, as you are responsible for your scooter while you have the meter running. When you're done with the scooter for the day, lock it and end the ride in the app, and leave it upright with the kickstand down, so that someone else can find it easily and use it.
Before hopping onboard the trend, take some time to consider whether or not electric scooter riding is for you. If you want to give it a try, pick a time to go for a Lime scooter test drive when you're not in a rush, and traffic isn't heavy. School yourself with some rider's education before getting on the road to ensure you're really ready to ride.