International transportation and mobility provider, Lime, partnered with the University of South Alabama and the City of Mobile to replace Jag Bikes with new rentable bikes this semester. The partnership came at no cost to USA or the City of Mobile.
The Jag Bike program was purchased and maintained through the university, but the infrastructure wasn’t adequate to track and ser-
vice the bikes, according to southalabama.edu. USA currently has a fleet of LimeBike 3-speed bikes featuring baskets, bells and reflectors, although more options may arrive in the future, according to Title IX Director Krista Harrell.
Students can use the bikes by downloading the app “Lime – Your Ride Anytime,” signing up and scanning the QR code or entering the bike’s tag number to unlock it. Although the bikes advertise rates of one dollar per half hour, students, faculty and staff can get half off by using their .edu email address when registering their account.
“The city and USA partnered to make sure they chose the same one so that the same app can be used on campus and downtown,” Harrell said.
When customers reach their destination, they can end their session in the app. This will automatically lock the bike even without a bike rack by using a lock on the back wheel of the bike. Although the bikes can be parked anywhere, Lime and USA ask that the bikes remain outdoors and in sunny areas so they can recharge. The bikes are also 3G and GPS enabled, allowing customers to find nearby bikes in the app. This feature also allows Lime staff to locate the bikes and distribute them to high traffic areas, such as the on-campus dorms.
“Most people aren’t going to ride them super far,” Harrell said. “If you ride kind of around the area, they have staff that will come and maneuver them back to campus locations. It’s important to help people understand that the bikes need the sun to help charge. Try to keep them in the area, park them responsibly and don’t take them inside.”
GPS and 3G also keep the bikes from being stolen. If the bikes are moved without being unlocked, they will sound an alarm, according to Harrell.
“Vandalism/theft with our fleet has been less than 1 percent,” southalabama.edu stated. “To further enhance our operation, Lime has built-in sensors that track bikes that have fallen/are on the ground. Our ops team can respond to issues more quickly with our algorithm on dispatching and bike status analysis.”
Lime also offers a program for people with low-income called LimeAcccess, “To qualify for Lime Access, an individual simply needs to demonstrate eligibility or participation in any state or federally-run assistance program,” Lime’s website stated. “Lime Access members receive a 95 percent discount on all Lime pedal bike rides and a 50 percent discount on all Lime-E electric-assist bike and Lime-Selectric scooter rides. Once you’ve joined Lime Access, you can pay using cash at one of PayNearMe’s 27,000 plus retail locations.”
With the new program, Harrell hopes to see more students using eco-friendly transportation. She reminds students to obey all of
Alabama’s state bike laws and urges drivers to be patient when sharing the road with cyclists.
“It’s about encouraging health and wellness and a bike-friendly campus and giving our community an opportunity for transportation
that’s good on carbon emission, cost and traffic,” Harrell said. “It’s an opportunity to get outside.”
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