Grand Rapids Launches Electric Bike Program, Adds More Scooters
There's a new option for getting around Grand Rapids: E-Bikes. The City of GR is further expanding its shared mobility program by adding the new e-assist bikes along with more e-scooters.
If you've been downtown recently, you've no doubt seen the orange-and-black scooters, part of the City's scooter-share pilot program with Spin, which launched in September 2020. There's even an Instagram account for all the weird places scooters end up, like in trees and in the Grand River...
Well now you're going to see a new color of scooter -- and electric bike -- on the streets of Grand Rapids. Lime launched Friday, June 4th with a fleet of 150 electric assist bicycles and 300 e-scooters. The program may grow up to as many as 750 e-assist bicycles and e-scooters, depending on demand.
The Lime e-bikes and e-scooters are available to rent in a 12 square-mile pilot service area including downtown and various neighborhoods and business districts.
According to a release from the City,
The pilot service area covers 74 percent of underserved neighborhoods in the City to provide more equitable access to shared micromobility and to evaluate how these services can contribute to Grand Rapids’ multi-modal transportation system.
Like the Spin scooters, the new Lime fleet operates via app and costs $1 to unlock plus 25 cents per minute. Also like Spin, Lime offers reduced rates for lower-income residents and non-smart phone options through its Lime Access program.
GR currently has 175 Designated Parking Zones throughout the pilot service area where they say all scooters and bikes must be parked (so they *shouldn't* be ending up in the river...) and they're adding even more:
City staff is currently adding more Designated Parking Zones for residents and visitors to pick-up and drop-off vehicles correctly and help maintain sidewalk accessibility, reduce clutter and improve convenience.
Justin Kimura, assistant director of the City’s Mobile GR department, said,
Shared electric assist bicycles and e-scooters offer lower cost mobility options, especially for shorter distance trips. We are pleased to partner with Lime to expand transportation mobility options, and we continue to emphasize that users should exercise safe riding habits. This includes wearing a helmet for all rides, riding on the street and not the sidewalk, being aware of pedestrians and other vehicles, and never operating an e-scooter or bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The City of Grand Rapids shares the following rules for riding e-bikes and e-scooters:
- Always wear a helmet whenever riding a bicycle or scooter.
- You must be 18 years of age or older to use Lime and Spin e-scooters and e-assist bicycles.
- Only one person per scooter or bicycle – no doubling up!
- Do not ride on the sidewalk - use the roadway, bicycle lanes and trails and ride with (not against) the direction of traffic.
- Never operate an e-scooter or bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Always Park the e-assist bicycles and e-scooters in Designated Parking Zones between trips – this improves safety and access for others by reducing sidewalk clutter and makes it easier to find these vehicles.
Want to give feedback on the City's shared mobility program? You can do that here.