In a sign that Charlotte may be a successful city for dockless ride-share bikes, one company here is bringing electric scooters to the city.
Lime (formerly called LimeBike) is launching scooter service in Charlotte, with demonstrations Tuesday at the Bland Street light-rail station from 11 a.m. to noon. The electric scooters cost $1 to unlock plus 15 cents per minute and are unlocked with a cellphone app. That’s more expensive than the regular price of dockless bikes, which is $1 for 30 minutes.
The bikes — and scooters — can be left anywhere.
Lime said Charlotte is the third city on the East Coast that will get the electric scooters, after Washington, D.C., in March and Miami in April. You need a driver’s license to use the scooters, which have a 20-mile range and can reach nearly 15 mph.
The company has also launched or tested scooters in San Diego, Austin, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles.
Sidney McLaurin, Lime’s regional general manager, said the scooters would “enhance mobility to local businesses and reduce car traffic downtown.”
Lime said it “encourages” people to ride the scooters in the street.
Since November, the city of Charlotte has welcomed four companies as part of a pilot program to test whether bike-sharing will work. The number of trips and the amount of miles ridden have increased each month. In March, people took just under 27,000 trips on about 2,000 bikes that have been scattered around uptown and South End. The average trip was 24 minutes, according to the city.
The other companies are Ofo, Spin and MoBike.
Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs