By Kenan Hurem
The new bike share company Lime Bikes has taken over this fall just as Uber did when the rideshare company first came out. Lime Bikes came from San Mateo and have now expanded to all over the Bay Area.
The bikes are neon green with a small aluminum basket in the front and bright reflectors on the tires. In Alameda alone, there are currently about 300 Lime Bikes, and they are still planning to release even more, according to the City of Alameda website. Alamedans can find them all over the streets because riders can leave them anywhere they want after they are done with them.
People ride these bikes because of a wide variety of benefits to society. One of the benefits includes that they encourage bicycling, which is a good exercise. Another benefit is that they allow transportation for people who do not have a bike or car. It is also environmental friendly so a lot of people can use it for transportation instead of a car if they need to travel a short distance.
The Lime Bikes are very simple to use. Riders can download the Lime Bike app and scan the code on the back of the bike to use it. Lime Bike charges 50 cents for every 30 minutes of use. When the riders are done with the bike they can just leave them wherever they want and close the back lock to end their trip, although Lime Bike asks that the riders park the bikes in a safe and appropriate place that does not block traffic or pedestrian walkways.
However, not all riders follow this. People have been leaving them wherever they want, leading to blocked sidewalks, driveways, and parking spaces. Some people have also taken advantage of these bikes by vandalizing them and taking the tires off of the bikes to sell for profit.
This has been an important issue which has been going on with the bikes recently. When contacted by email, Lime Bike representatives replied by saying, “Currently, we are working with the police to find those who have been vandalizing the bikes because each one is tracked with a GPS.” They went on to explain, “If this situation continues to persist then we will continue to work with the police to punish those who have been misusing them.”
Another concern about the bikes is how they might incorporate helmets to keep everyone safe. “We will not be able to do this because there is no way to provide a helmet so everyone is responsible for themselves,” the Lime Bike representative added.
A lot of people even use these bikes at Alameda High, including senior David Espino. He is a frequent user of these bikes and said, ”they are a very good exercise and are easy to find when you have to go somewhere and do not want to walk.”