United States

Dockless Electric Bikes Launch in Chicago

Chicago launched a “dockless” electric bike share program on the South Side Tuesday that will now allow users to rent bikes in a more convenient and cheaper way.

A company known as LimeBike rolled out a total of 50 electric bikes, including 10 wards Tuesday—the first bike-share to serve the 19th Ward and the first dock-free program to come to the windy city.

LimeBike is the leading American smart micro-mobility company in the nation, currently serving in over 50 markets.

“In markets like D.C. and Los Angeles, we’ve seen the impact LimeBike has in areas with limited access to reliable, affordable transportation, and we believe the dock-free system allows us to provide the most equitable access to healthy, sustainable mobility,” said Chicago General Manager Jessie Lucci.

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Santa Monica got a taste of this new way of transportation last week and other cities like Seattle and San Diego had their pilot run back in February.

“LimeBike is excited to offer an extra-powered mobility solution to Chicago,” said LimeBike spokesperson Emma Green. “Called Lime-E, LimeBike’s Electric Bike costs just $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute of riding.”

All bikes and scooters are GPS and 3G-enabled, a system meant to make it simple for riders to find, unlock and pick up a nearby vehicle using their smartphone. Once the ride is completed, riders update the LimeBike mobile app and are then responsible to park by the street curb or at a bike rack.

“To celebrate, all new riders get their first ride free,” up to $3, Green said.

According to their official site, their mission is to address the “transportation problem by helping people move around their cities in an affordable and convenient way while eliminating their carbon footprint.”

A study in 2015 said Chicago drivers spend an average of 26 percent more time on the road than they would if there were no congestion—making Chicago the 10th most congested city in the U.S.

“We hope the addition of dock-free bike share will help solve transportation barriers by increasing access to affordable mobility,” Green said. “By offering a mobility solution for shorter-distance trips, our e-bikes can help reduce traffic congestion as Chicago continues to grow.”

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