As of April 1, 2019, White Plains Lime which has a contract to operate the service with 300 bikes is introducing a pedal assist model. The “Lime-E” uses a lithium battery and torque sensor to give riders a boost. In an article in The Journal News on March 18, 201 by Richard Liebson, he quoted Lime Bike operations Manager Paul Holley. “We feel the bike share program has been successful in White Plains”. He told the common council during a work session “for riders huffing and puffing up hills or on long trips, the pedal assist model does a lot better than the other bike does”.
The new bikes known as “Lime-E” have been available in a number of other cities across the country since 2018. The Lime-E bikes are heavier and sturdier than the regular model with the mailbox sized battery mounted over the rear wheel. The decision to place them in part by the bike share programming success during the first year in White Plains since June 4, 2018. More than 9000 different riders have tried the bikes using the Lime app on smart phones to unlock them and pay for the trip. 62% of riders who try the bikes take another ride within 30 days. The average rider took 3.9 trips per month averaging nine minutes per ride. More than 43,000 rides have been taken.
Lime said the White Plains Trans Center is by far the most common destination followed by White Plains Hospital and downtown Mamaroneck Avenue. The pedal-assist bikes will cost more than the regular bikes which rent for $1.00 per 30 minutes. Riders who want a boost will pay $1.00 to unlock the pedal assist models and 15 cents per minute to ride for a total cost of $5.50 for half an hour. The Lime-E relies on an internal torque sensor which detects when the bike is being pedaled and relays that to activate the battery. The power shuts down when the bike reaches a maximum speed of 14.8 mph.
Tom Soyk, the City’s Deputy Parking and Traffic Commissioner, said the bike share program has a very good safety record in the City. He did not provide statistics but said there has been only one report of a pedestrian hit by a Lime bike rider who was riding on the sidewalk illegally. The bikes do not have a motor and do not require a license to ride. The battery has a range of about 60 miles before it needs to be recharged using GPS technology. Lime crews can identify the location of the bikes. If the battery is low, it is swapped out and the dead battery is recharged at a warehouse. At the City’s request, they also take them off the street if there is heavy snow or other bad weather. Lime officials said they anticipate that the pedal-assisted bikes will quickly become more popular than the old model. The total fleet will remain at 300 bikes.
In another article entitled “Pedal Power” by Peter Katz of The Westchester County Business Journal on April 1, 2019 states “Lime is one of the major international players in the bike and scooter-sharing industry”. Lime’s value was placed at $2.4 billion. The company reported that about 10 million people have taken about 34 million rides on its bikes and scooters in 15 countries where it provides services. “We’ve seen about 86,000 trips from 28,000 in Yonkers and we’ve seen more than 40,000 trips from 9000 riders in White Plains”, per Gil Kazimirov, New York General Manager of Lime when interviewed. The “E-bikes” provides a forward thrust that makes it easier to get up hills or even coast along at a steady speed on level ground. “It has opened up biking to older people who do not want to sweat on their way to work”. He also advised the White Plains Common Council that it opened up biking to old people who do not want to sweat on their way to work.” He also advised that White Plains Common Council that there is a speed sensor which removes the electric power when the bike reaches 14.8 miles per hour.
If you or someone you know has been injured while using Lime bikes or pedal assist bikes or have been injured by a Lime bike as a pedestrian, call the Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800 or on the web at WhitePlains-InjuryLaw.com