Mesa is getting a bit greener as bright green bikes are popping up on city streets as part of a bike sharing program called LimeBike. LimeBike’s goal is to make getting around the city easier and eco-friendlier.
The California-based company brought 200 of its bikes to Mesa, concentrating on Main and Southern streets. The bikes are free to the city and run subsidy free.
“Right now, we are just testing 200 bikes that we deployed in Mesa. We are running Main Street, the Fiesta District and the arts center as of right now and it’s more like a trial period to see if they’re ridden,” said Erik Hultquist, who is part of the ops department for LimeBike in Scottsdale.
The program uses smartphone technology to unlock and ride the bicycles. Every bike has a QR code which is scanned using the LimeBike app on your phone, once unlocked the bicycle costs a $1 per half hour, or 50 cents per half hour for students.
So far, the bike sharing program has been successful in Mesa and the company is seeing a lot of riders using the bikes, according to Hultquist. Although there are currently no plans for additional bikes in Mesa, LimeBike monitors the usage to determine where future bikes might be placed, through the on-board GPS on every bike.
“We look to see where bikes end up, where people are riding our bikes, and then that has a lot to do with where we will end up putting bikes and where we expand to,” said Emma Green, part of the marketing and communications team with LimeBike.
The company also monitors where the bikes are left after a ride is over, so they are accessible to riders when they want one and don’t needlessly clutter city streets and public areas.
“LimeBike has a local on-the-ground operations team constantly monitoring the bikes using their GPS mapping technology to ensure they are maintained and parked responsibly,” Green said.
LimeBike also encourages anyone who finds an irresponsibly parked or damaged bike to call their 24/7 customer service team or use the built-in reporting feature through the LimeBike app, to have the bike moved or fixed.
Clutter has been a problem for LimeBike in Scottsdale. Residents there have complained about the number of bicycles in their neighborhood and the random way the bikes are dropped off after a ride.
“In Scottsdale, we will continue our efforts towards rider education so that responsible bikeshare use and parking becomes a natural habit for the entire community,” Green said.
– John O’Brien is a Mesa Community College journalism intern for MyNewsMesa.com.