Are bike rental companies coming our way?

    LimeBike rental A LimeBike spotted near the Edmonds Marsh. (Photo by Bill Anderson)

    Lime, a company that rents bicycles and scooters across the U.S., says its “dock-free smart mobility solutions reduce traffic congestion, promote healthy living and solve the all-important challenge of the first and last mile — without subsidies or public funding.”

    LimeBikes have been found scattered from Martha Lake to south Edmonds, prompting questions about the company’s reach into south Snohomish County.

    Company representative Katherine Mackinnon would not say if Lime plans a move north. “I can’t comment on specific cities one way or another.”

    She did add that “Lime would love to serve Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Shoreline and Lynnwood! Currently, Lime operates in five Washington markets: Seattle, Bellevue, Bothell, Mercer Island and Spokane.”

    A survey of city officials in Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood revealed no overtures by the transportation company. The general consensus seems to be, if such a request came in, the only requirement would be a city business license to operate.

    “If they do have interest, we would want to address some issues including business license and temporary right of way usage,” said Virginia Olsen with the City of Mountlake Terrace.

    LimeBikes have been in Bothell for about a year. Barbara Ramey, communications officer for the city, said that the company approached them last fall and obtained a business license.

    The city is looking into the possibility of additional policies. “Our city attorney is reviewing policies of other cities related to bike shares,” said Ramey. “Right now we’re in the research mode.”

    Meanwhile, if LimeBikes are found abandoned in south Snohomish County, Mackinnon offered this remedy: “If bikes are left outside these [established] markets, the Lime operations team are automatically notified and will retrieve them. That said, if residents outside these cities do find a Lime bike, they can call the customer service number at 1-888-546-3345.

    — By Connie McDougall

    10 Replies to “Are bike rental companies coming our way?”

    1. Sorry, I am opposed to Lime bikes cluttering our city. All one has to do is drive through any Seattle neighborhood and see abandoned bikes adorning the streets, sidewalks and both private and public properties. Exactly who would use Lime bikes? When was the last time you rode a bike from downtown up Main Street to say 5 corners or from downtown to QFC? I walk those routes many times a week and I can tell you they are up steep hills. Can’t see too many tourists or residents clamoring for bikes.


    2. Charge $10/hr for parking down town except for bikes, and build parking lot for free next to a bike lot and see what happens. Everything has a price.


    3. Our City Council could then practice what they preach…ride bicycles to City Council meetings and save the environment…

      …just sayin’


    4. Does anyone know if Lime Bike (or the ilk) has submitted an application for an Edmonds business license? We have narrow sidewalks and our “furniture zones” are generally used for other purposes.


    5. The two lime bikes in front of my apartment complex have been there for over 3 weeks. We have called the number in the article seven times, and have been assured each time they will be picked up asap. Obviously that’s not the case. So. What is the city of Edmonds going to do about these bikes littering our sidewalks?


    6. During a trip to South Lake Tahoe recently I witnessed firsthand how disruptive (and dangerous) Lime scooters on the public sidewalks can be to pedestrians especially when those riding the scooters have been drinking. Seriously, they should come with a breathalyzer lock in some areas.

      As for the bikes, I see them as visual clutter because they are randomly left on the sidewalk and like others who have commented, they tend not to “migrate” very often. Actually how do we know if it’s the same bike? Would be interested to know how often they are used and who uses them. I’ve only seen two actually being used in Edmonds – one a young teen and the other a 20 something young man.


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