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Lime e-scooters could be coming to Richmond

Richmond city council will decide whether to contract with Lime Technology on a three-year e-scooter pilot project.
Lime e-scooters and e-bikes could be coming to Richmond.

Bright green e-scooters could be popping up around Richmond for the public to rent.

City council is considering contracting with Lime Technology on a three-year pilot project to have publicly available e-scooters and e-bikes.

Lime would first be awarded an 18-month contract with an option to renew for another 18 months, if both parties agree.

If approved by council, the pilot will begin in City Centre with 153 e-scooters and 63 e-bikes.

Richmond was chosen earlier this year by the province for an e-scooter pilot project.

The area of the e-scooter pilot will start between No. 2 and Garden City roads and between the middle arm of the Fraser River and Alderbridge Way.

If successful, the pilot will be expanded to other areas of Richmond with up to 500 e-scooters and 200 e-bikes, or possibly more depending on if they prove popular.

The cost to use Lime e-scooters is $1.15 to start and 35 cents per minute of use. There will also be daily and monthly passes.

Users must be at least 18 years old.

Parking “corrals” will be placed around the city where e-scooters and e-bikes can be accessed and then locked up after use.

The bike racks will be branded by Lime so they can be distinguished from other bike racks.

In conjunction with the pilot rolling out in several Lower Mainland communities, TransLink is now allowing foldable e-scooters on buses – however, they can’t be mounted on the bike racks at the front of buses.

However, they will only be allowed if it’s safe and there’s room, which will be at the bus driver's or transit employee’s discretion.

E-scooters can’t be ridden in stations.

Richmond city council passed a bylaw earlier this year to limit where e-scooters could be ridden in anticipation of the pilot rolling out.

In Richmond e-scooters can be used on designated cycling facilities – such as bike lanes – local streets with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less and which don’t have lane or dividing lines, or on streets with a dividing line and maximum speed limit of 30 km/h.

They can also be used on off-street paved pathways next to the roadway or in parks that are signed or marked for shared use.

E-scooters can't be used on sidewalks or on unpaved trails such as the dyke trails. (This pilot isn’t for mobility scooters often used by seniors and people with mobility issues – these are allowed on sidewalks.)

The bylaw allows riders16 years and older but Lime's age restriction is 18.

Riders must wear a helmet and cannot carry passengers, however, they don’t have to have a driver’s licence.

Lime Technology operates in 170 cities around the world.

- with files from Kirsten Clarke