April 2018, News & Features

Mysterious bicycle raises questions; we’ve got answers

A lime green bicycle that has been sitting recently on Oakwood Avenue has many students, faculty, and staff members wondering if LimeBike has come to Saint Augustine’s University. LimeBike is a ride-sharing service that provides inexpensive bicycle rentals to college campuses and city residents.

The Falcon Forum contacted LimeBike for an answer, and a customer service representative who identified herself only as Dana responded, “Lime Bike operates in many cities from state to state. We operate in the city of Raleigh.”

If that answer seems vague, it is because of the way the LimeBike operation works. The company, based in San Mateo, Calif., prides itself on offering a “dockfree bike network.” While other bike rental companies have docking stations from which riders must unlock the bikes after paying to rent them, LimeBike offers rental bicycles that do not have to be locked up at a docking station when not in use.

LimeBike has a downloadable app, Dana explained. Once the app is downloaded via smart phone, users can locate the closest bicycle to them. The customer then uses a QR code to unlock the bikes with a phone. The apps rate charges work similar to that of the rate calculations of Uber. Customers add money to their Lime Bike account and the app will show the balance from each sharing use.

Once it is time to return the bicycle, individuals can park the bike anywhere, as long as it is not on private property, blocking a roadway, or in a handicapped parking zone.

LimeBike does not have a partnership with Saint Augustine’s University, but it does offer the service in the city of Raleigh, as well as at N.C. State University and N.C. Central University.

So the bicycle that has been sitting on Oakwood Avenue next to the bus stop was most likely brought there from somewhere else. Can students, faculty and staff at SAU use it? The answer is yes – if it is still there by the time you read this.

If it is gone, Dana suggested that the SAU community download the app so they can begin using LimeBike. (Visit wwww.limebike.com for more information.)

“Lime Bike offers three unique biking options, the pedal bike, electric bike, and the E-scooter,” Dana said. The pedal bike charges customers one-dollar for every 30 minutes of riding. While, the electric bike and E-scooter charge one-dollar to unlock and 15 cents per every 30 minutes of riding time.

Lime Bike’s website promotes the service as beneficial to many college students as it is both inexpensive and a healthy way to commute, getting exercise while heading to lunch or work. Even for students to venture off-campus for a museum or dinner downtown to explore the city.

The company has partnerships with colleges and universities through its Lime Campus Network, which “aims to increase student bikeshare use, decrease campus traffic and congestion, and make sure riding Lime is affordable for students,” according to the website.

If students are interested in partnership information with the company, they can contact LimeBike at college@limebike.com.

— Jazmin Powell