Lime Sour

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 pm, October 25th, 2018 - 56 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, Ethics, health and safety, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, transport - Tags: , ,

I’m no killjoy, but I’m itching to chuck my first Lime scooter into a skip.

I’ve seen a ton of them this week, often being ridden by people clearly having terrific fun. I’ve also seen some demented usage; the woman with the leg in plaster wobbling down a busy city street with her crutches tucked under her arm takes the biscuit.

However, the majority of Lime scooters I’ve encountered have been parked up, usually on footpaths but occasionally on drives, lawns and other private property. To be fair, it’s fine by me if someone wants to leave a scooter in my driveway. I’ll simply drive over it. My 4WD loves a challenge.

The reason I’m sour on Lime is that the scooters are overwhelmingly left on footpaths. Navigating past Lime’s e-litter is a nightmare for anyone who is partially sighted, anyone pushing a pram, anyone using a wheelchair.

I’m the kind of guy who moves shop signs into the gutter if they block pedestrians. It’s simply unthinking, selfish behaviour to leave a scooter in a place where it’s going to be an obstacle for other people.

Lime know it’s an issue; their website asks people not to leave them parked irresponsibly. Naturally, that advice is routinely ignored by Lime users, as is the advice to wear a helmet.

Look, I don’t think these scooters will be with us long. Like finger spinners, they’ll fast fade away. But, in the meantime, they’re a nuisance.

I wouldn’t buy shares in the company because fashion fades fast and also because the lawsuits that will inevitably follow on from injuries to pedestrians and the deaths of users in the States will probably mean no profit will ever be made from them.

If you want cheap, efficient urban transport, don’t rent a scooter, people. Buy a bike. They’re genuine fun and the exercise will do you good.

 

 

56 comments on “Lime Sour”

  1. Chris T 1

    I heard today on the radio that the calls to ACC have already started.

    Personally don’t mind as I can move out of the way, but a lot of people can’t. And I’m sorry, but if I see one run into a little kid, “Lime” will get that one back in pieces.

  2. Muttonbird 2

    I get triggered when I see cars parked across footpaths. Really gets my goat up.

  3. JC 3

    “I’m no Kill Joy” But ….

    They’re way bigger than that! And perhaps “A Revolution for urban transport”

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018666855/uber-e-bikes-and-e-scooters

    Currently being trialed in Auckland and ChCh. Sure there’ll be teething issues but perhaps give them a chance …. Curious the difference in response between North and South…

    “Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said no-one had raised any concerns about the scooters with her.”

    “I’ve only seen a lot of happy, smiling faces around town,”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/108097101/Auckland-Mayor-orders-urgent-scooter-safety-probe-after-councillor-almost-hit

    Alternatively ; http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/crackdown-on-lime-scooters-all-pedestrians-will-be-required-to-wear-helmets/

    • JC 3.1

      Who takes care of the scooters?

      “There were two types of people responsible for the scooters, Swanson said: Lime’s own team of local “operations specialists”, and independently contracted “juicers” paid to charge the devices.”

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/107911180/the-lowdown-on-lime-scooters-new-zealands-newest-transport-trend

    • Carolyn_Nth 3.2

      Christchurch is just a different layout to Auckland – flat vs hills where they can get up to high speeds, plus a large amount of pedestrians in central Auckland.

      Individual or collective ownership of e-scooters, plus dedicated cycle and scooter ways are the best option, .

      The report of a tryout on Greater Auckland is sobering – more expensive than a bus when going by footpath because of all the hold-ups at intersections – and the scooters costing by the minute. Plus footpaths in poor condition, which makes for a bumpy ride – sounds like not a lot of shock absorbers with the scooter’s hard wheels.

    • The Civilian is s crack up. Classic humour.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Yet if the same scooters where privately owned they’d be looked after and secured out of harm’s way.

    • McFlock 4.1

      Like bikes aren’t? lol.

      I reckon there’d just be fewer of them.

      It’s getting into summer. The free parking area I use for my 49cc will become filled with a maze of chrome randomly chained to available railings, becoming tripping hazards on the stairs and occasionally get bent by a reversing 4wd that just doesn’t give G.A.F. Happens every year in my wee corner.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Ah no. There’s a difference and you know it.

        Provide secure parking for bicycles and it will generally get used. Most people don’t actually want their sometimes expensive bikes stolen or run over.

        But all over the world where it’s been tried, the trashing of ‘free’ non-private bikes, leaving them scattered around without care is the common problem.

        Brisbane has a public e-bike system that works ok by the look of it. But the bikes are locked in their racks and only released with a credit card. Don’t return it and you get pinged.

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          Is that an individual ownership issue or simply a higher number of trashable items issue?

          Sure, some cyclists will nab any secure bike cages they can, but others will leave their own bike parked wherever.

          There might be a little bit of rental car syndrome, but if you dump 600 bikes in a city with a x% usage at any point in time, at any point in time you’ll have 100-x% of those 600 laying around the place. Some will be parked carefully, some will be abandoned wherever, and there might also be an uptick of new users who maybe don’t know that bikes leaned somewhere might fall over, or basic bike etiquette.

          edit: I’m not actually against bikes or e-scooters in this instance. I just think tragedy of the commons is an easy answer to a more complex situation.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            I just think tragedy of the commons is an easy answer to a more complex situation.

            1. They’re not in the ‘commons’ as they’re privately owned.
            2. The ‘Tragedy of the commons’ is actually a myth.

        • Carolyn_Nth 4.1.1.2

          The Auckland e-scooters are GPS tracked. To hire ne you need to enter a phone number and credit card details. The Greater Auckland post on it says

          Ending my ride, locking and leaving the scooter was easy although I saw a number of people reporting problems with doing so and being charged quite a bit for their travel.

          And that’s being charged at 30c a minute.

    • Carolyn_Nth 4.2

      I thought they were privately owned – by a company. And they charge users – 30c a minute.

      https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2018/10/16/lime-e-scooters-launch-in-auckland/

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        True, but I don’t think it’s the company who leaves them lying about as TRP is rightly het up about.

        I guess my point is simple enough; private ownership is not necessarily a capitalist evil.

        • Carolyn_Nth 4.2.1.1

          Well in this case, the capitalist company charges users 30c a minute, which will encourage people to go as fast as possible. And that will conflict with any future regulation that requires a 5k speed limit around pedestrians.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2

        Yep, bunch of people looking for rentier income.

    • JC 4.3

      Who takes care of the scooters?

      “There were two types of people responsible for the scooters, Swanson said: Lime’s own team of local “operations specialists”, and independently contracted “juicers” paid to charge the devices.”

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/107911180/the-lowdown-on-lime-scooters-new-zealands-newest-transport-trend

  5. Johnr 5

    The lady host on radio live this afternoon said she was in Santa Monica a week or two ago and e scooters were littering everywhere you looked, so much so that people had piled them up and set fire to them.

    • infused 5.1

      it was implemented pretty badly there, but people need to understand these escooters have been around for years without issue.

  6. joe90 6

    Investors with deep pockets use the app to beat all apps to take advantage of the poorly paid gig economy, ACC, and local body government to socialise their losses and hoover up any gains.

    Marvelous.
    /

    • JC 6.1

      “The advantage of our e-scooters is that they work together with existing public transit options, allowing people to rely less on personal cars …”

      “It’s exactly the kind of thing we want: zero emissions and a lot of fun.” ” said Christchurch Councilwoman Vicki Buck.

      https://www.li.me/blog/lime-down-under-auckland-and-christchurch-nz-join-e-scooter-movement

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/94891232/sports-injuries-cost-nz-500m–more-than-road-carnage

      Sport injuries cost ACC more than road crashes in 2016 with payouts totalling $542 million.

      ACC figures from 2016 show the gap is closing between the numbers of claims from New Zealand’s biggest contact sport – rugby – and claims related to fitness training accidents at the gym.

      “Some 62,337 New Zealanders claimed injuries on the the rugby field in 2016, while 51,319 injuries occurred inside the gym. Nationally, rugby injuries cost New Zealanders $78.2m a year compared with gym injuries at $30.5m.

      • joe90 6.1.1

        Yeah, sport is bad, m’kay. But let’s not put people’s life and limb at risk, add more claimants to a system that routinely fails to fulfill it’s obligations to existing claimants and load policy, policing and cleanup costs onto communities already struggling to deliver basic services so Vicki fucking Buck gets to feel good and offshore investors with deep pockets can make a dollar.

        • JC 6.1.1.1

          Halve the dose Joe!

          I get your Gig. It will be usefull to have a perspective over time as to the benefits, or otherewise, of an alternative urban transport system. Which is currently being trialled over a 3 month period in Auckland, and ChCh. But to jump to an immediate conclusion is premature!

          Some of the issues you raise will be addressed as part of that in due course. And as to offshore investors .. it might be worse…

          Following a Major MVA some years ago I am very familiar with ACC, and it’s faults! But I wont do a Selway..

          The less vehiciles on the road has to be a good thing!

          https://www.transport.govt.nz/resources/road-safety-resources/roadcrashstatistics/

          • joe90 6.1.1.1.1

            Taking vehicles off the road and putting them on the footpaths is a good thing?.

            • JC 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Scooters can be ridden on roads, footpaths and cycleways. The NZ Transport Agency originally said they could not be used in cycle lanes, but later said lanes could be used if riders were impeding traffic, with the expectation they would return to the road once safe to do so.

              I undertand Auckland Council has initaited a review following Christine Fletchers’ “near miss” and are likely to implement further guidelines/bylaws

              • joe90

                Swarms of the fucking things on the roads and the footpaths. Christ, it gets worse.

                • JC

                  As above; Two more companies plan to add another 3500 scooters in Auckland in the coming months.

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/108097101/Auckland-Mayor-orders-urgent-scooter-safety-probe-after-councillor-almost-hit

                  But then I don’t live there …. fortumately!

                  • Carolyn_Nth

                    I think there is a place for e-scooters, but they do need some regulating.

                    There should be speed restrictions around pedestrians, especially in Auckland’s CBD and busy shopping centres.

                    I haven’t had any problems with them personally, but an elderly woman I talked to did. She is slow moving, uses a walking stick and not that steady on her feet. A scooter whizzing past her was a very scary experience.

                    I saw a guy using the road on Wellesley street heading towards Queen Street (towards Symonds Street). He went down hill, with the traffic across the Queen Street intersection then up the hill after Queen Street. He then headed onto the pavement. He was going pretty fast, and really, a lot of these e-scooters in the CBD would be creating a hazard. And they aren’t really necessary there – especially as the buses can work out cheaper.

                    Walking from my bus stop to home last night, I could see that they will be useful to go that extra few Ks between public transport and home. The pavements are in a good state of repair. There are a lot of hills – up and down in my walk home. There was only me on the footpath, and I am used to keeping left while walking in these days of shared spaces. A guy was coming up the footpath on the other side of the road – no one walking there.

                    A young guy in a suit, with his satchell over his shoulder, whizzed pas, on down the hill and up the other side in a few seconds – and no one else walking there.

                    I could see a place for individually owned e-scooters that are kept inside when not used – or a neighbourhood collective owning a few.

                    There does need to be separate cycle/scooter ways to keep them separate from pedestrians and from bigger vehicles.

  7. Ed1 7

    There seems to be some confusion between bikes, e- scooters and motorised skate boards. I talked to a young person who hired a bike using the app – it cost 75c for more than 5 minutes. Apparently they can be tracked through a phone app – from following some they assessed that some were being “parked” in an apartment. Some had broken foot pedals (presumably from being dropped on the ground). In general the quality of the bike was low, but it was also cheap.

    I haven’t seen a motorised scooter here in Wellington, but there is a motorised skate board which is ridden past the university in the morning – seeing a young man standing while riding in a line of cars is a bit disconcerting – it appears to be controlled by a remote in his hand.

    • infused 7.1

      I use an escooter in Wellington. Keep it in the boot of my car to go to meetings around town.

  8. Ed 8

    Notice the weasel words?

    “If you’re riding on the road, 27 kilometres feels slow. If you’re riding on the footpath, it may be too fast,” Mr Rowe said.

    “At this point the NZTA has given the notion that we are able to operate without helmets… that process may change and we are open to that process and want to be part of that.”

    may…..
    …notion….

    Corporations are about profit.
    They don’t care about externalities.
    Like pedestrian safety.
    Or their customers’ heads.

    Ban the scooters unless they are in bike lanes.

    • Sacha 8.1

      “Ban the scooters unless they are in bike lanes.”

      Better build way more cycleways, pronto.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    Moral panic over the shock of change.

  10. Morrissey 10

    To be fair, it’s fine by me if someone wants to leave a scooter in my driveway. I’ll simply drive over it. My 4WD loves a challenge.

    Thanks for warning us, Mr Alan Gibbs. Or is it Chester Borrows?

  11. Treetop 11

    I walk a lot. An electric scooter is another obstacle which I will now need to look out for. My total hearing is 80% in one ear.

    A lad about 10 yesterday on an electric scooter nearly over shot the intersection and could have been run over.

    I commented on how fast his scooter was not realising at the time what it was. Once over the road he zoomed off.

  12. Kevin 12

    30km/h is excessive for scooters to be travelling at. The should be governed to 15-20km/h maximum.

  13. Brutus Iscariot 13

    They should probably be speed limited, either mechanically or just using a speed limit law.

    Overall a great initiative though to get people out of their cars, and avoid clogging the roads with low value, short distance trips.

    I also consider it a “gateway drug” to breaking the motoring addiction. Almost a stepping stone to cycling in some ways.

  14. infused 14

    muppets. i’ve had one for over two years now. These are not new, and my one can do close to 60km/hr.

    I suspect these will only get more popular. They are huge in the states along with booster boards.

    I have one of these https://www.blacksheeptrading.co.nz/product/2400w-dual-drive-electric-scooter/ plus a smaller etow.

  15. AsleepWhileWalking 15

    Bah, just some teething problems.

    We’re humans. We adapt. All good.

  16. Carolyn_Nth 16

    The Standard just got a mention by Jim Mora for saying “Lime is Sour”

  17. JC 17

    “Ride for free to vote in the midterm elections”

    “Get ready to scoot out the vote.

    Or at least, that’s what Lime is hoping the voting public will do this upcoming Election Day. The bike- and scooter-share company is offering a promo code for users to snag a free bike, e-bike, or e-scooter ride to and from the polls. ”

    https://mashable.com/article/lime-free-scooter-bike-vote/#0Nx45ULKiOqw

  18. JC 18

    “Electric bikes and e-scooters are flummoxing regulators while exciting consumers and venture capitalists” …

    https://www.economist.com/business/2018/06/23/how-two-wheelers-are-weaving-their-way-into-urban-transport

  19. Carolyn_Nth 19

    After bing out and about today in Auckland – some more thoughts.

    I have only seen guys on these lime e-scooters – and usually, if not always young ones. There is mention of women young and old trying them in the media and social media – but they must be the exception.

    This morning in the CBD when the weather was fine there were a few guys on them. I think there may be some battery issues after a Friday night. 2 of the guys were having issues going up the Wellesley Street hill – one guy went up OK. His mate just was gradually getting slower until he gave up and got off and walked. Another guy came soon after and was slowing down – not completely.

    This afternoon when it was bucketing down in the CBD, I didn’t see one person using them. They may be fair weather options when used as rentals.

    e-bikes, bikes and buses are probably better options for carrying stuff, including wet weather gear.

    And e-scooters are not active transport. A user is not getting much exercise, compared with walking to and from a bus stop or train.

    I wonder if many people will use them once the novelty wears off.

    • McFlock 19.1

      My reckons are along the same lines.

      They’re also a bit pricey to hire, compared to a bus or even a cab.

      • Carolyn_Nth 19.1.1

        Yes. They would be more cost efficient, and useful for some individuals to own their own.

        There have been non- electric scooters in use around Auckland for many years, and they don’t seem to be a problem. In my hood, I saw about 3 boys using them to get to school in a pack, with leg power not an e-motor. They didn’t seem to be annoying anyone. Some people take the leg power ones on buses and trains.

    • Infused 19.2

      The low powered ones can only handle small hills. This is why I have the bigger ones. Can fly up a 20 gradient at 30 40 still

      • Carolyn_Nth 19.2.1

        I suspected as much. I think they are machines that would suit some people to own individually. So far, the Auckland ones look to be being used as toys.

        Also, I was interested in the height of the ones for hire in Auckland.I had read that they really only suited tall people, and that someone of my height (between 5ft 2-3″) would not be suited to them.

        So, just been out shopping. How quickly these Lime things have become part of the local landscape. On a side road 2 guys in a van were collecting up the lime machines and putting them in the back of their van.

        2 tallish teenage guys walked past me on the side street. On the main road, they had a lime machine each. The handle bars were at the height of their elbows.

        Then I saw a woman on one for the first time. She was in a side road, was quite tall (handle bars below her elbow level), and she was riding it up and down the road – trying it out.

        On the foot path of the main road, a young girl was wobbling along on one. She was reaching up to the handle bars, and her head was just above the handlebars. I though users were meant to be over 18 and have a driver’s license?

        I walked past a lime machine on it’s side stand. The handle bars were about my shoulder level. And, as they are quite low on the ground, I reckon someone my height would not be very comfortable on one, and would not have very good control over it.

  20. Muttonbird 20

    I battled through a few today around north Viaduct Harbour.

    It looks like fun and the idea is fine I suppose except when people are silly with them. It is mildly annoying when they are parked in a place where it is natural for pedestrians to walk.

    In most places footpaths are wide enough to accommodate both pedestrians and bikes and even motorised scooters but problems do arise when they are used, as they will be, in areas where there is competition for footpath space. I’m talking about popular urban footpaths with eatery tables already making footpaths narrower. These are going to be the areas where lime scooters are most common unfortunately. The other thing is they are quite big.

    I’d prefer to see them on the road because they are motorised. Bikes are not motorised and are more connected to the rider and as such are less of a hazard to pedestrians so I don’t have much of an issue with them being on footpaths.

    Perhaps their numbers could be controlled by limits to density in any given area.

    • Chris T 20.1

      “In most places footpaths are wide enough to accommodate both pedestrians and bikes and even motorised scooters but problems do arise when they are used, as they will be, in areas where there is competition for footpath space. I’m talking about popular urban footpaths with eatery tables already making footpaths narrower.”

      I’m guessing that is why they haven’t dumped them in Wellington yet

      They would be a nightmare down Courtenay Place and Lambton Quay

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