Whether it be students cycling to class or faculty out on a joy ride, you’ve probably seen those green and yellow bikes in use around campus, and you’ve probably wondered what they are and how they work. LimeBike, the newest addition to State’s transportation systems, is a dockless bike share program which allows customers to locate, unlock, ride and pay for the rentable bikes through its iPhone and Android friendly app.
In the beginning of August, 300 LimeBikes were delivered to State as a pilot project proposed by student government the previous school year. Those with an active “@ncsu.edu” email are entitled to a school discount where a 30 minute ride is $.50, although LimeBikes are accessible to anyone in the community for a one dollar per 30 minute fee. For $15, students, faculty or staff can purchase 100 rides for one month, which is a deal for those who ride frequently. Also, your first ride is free.
For the last couple weeks in August, LimeBike did a promotion for State where all rides were free for those on campus, which allowed people to try out the bikes and have LimeBike grow in popularity. As of last week, there are already 1,500 NCSU accounts.
“Lime bike has been wildly successful beyond any expectation”, said Mike Kennon, Assistant Director of Transportation at NC State. “Over the summer we found that UNCG was really pleased with LimeBike, so we invited [LimeBike] to campus and it turned out to be a great fit for us, and here we are today.”
For students who don’t already have a bike of their own on campus, LimeBikes have opened up a quicker and easier way to get to classes on time.
“I think that LimeBike is one of the greatest business ideas to ever grace the market”, said Zak Selwaeh, a freshman studying business administration marketing. “It’s really good for when you’re in a pinch. I think LimeBikes are just really awesome.”
While there has mostly been positive responses to LimeBikes, one issue has been that the bikes have been left in miscellaneous places.
“The thing we have been hearing the most is that people are frustrated by seeing [the bikes] scattered everywhere”, said Sarah Williams, Transportation Demand Management Program Manager. “We’re asking people to park these bikes at or adjacent to bike racks”.
Because of the influx of bikes, State is trying to add more racks this fall semester, but it is still imperative that the LimeBikes are parked in a reasonable area, even if racks are full.
“Treat it like your bike”, Kennon said. “Don’t just get off and park it and walk away. Park it at a rack and make sure it’s secure”.
As for safety, customers are encouraged to “BYOH” (Bring Your Own Helmet), as they are not included because of practicality.
Although the LimeBike does not come with a helmet, the bikes still have many safety features. Each bike is equipped with an anti theft lock and alarm, double kickstand, solar powered headlights, and a basket. A GPS within the bike allows customers and the LimeBike company to locate the bikes, and its three speed accessibility makes for easy riding in a variety of terrain (although the bikes are meant for city riding.)
Part of the popularity of the bikes is that they are accessible, dockless and aren’t limited to just State’s campus.
“They're really convenient to find and take anywhere on or off campus”, said Brooke Gould, a freshman studying genetics.
Kennon said, if LimeBike continues its streak of high usage around State, 200 more bikes will be delivered in the Spring. With all the available bikes and favoring reviews, you should take advantage of first-timers free ride and test LimeBikes out yourself.