RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The immediate future of Lime in the City of Reno has been decided. After the city council voted Wednesday to end its franchise agreement with the company, the green bikes were given the red light.
For Lime, the city council’s decision is more sweet than sour.
“The city was being innovative and as the mayor said during the council meeting last night, we took, we took a risk on the city and they made a bet on us as well,” says Lime Representative Jonathan Hopkins.
In a phone interview with Hopkins, he says having bikes in most cities isn’t financially a good decision for the company anymore.
“One of the things we learned is that with medium-sized cities, and perhaps anything but the biggest cities, bikes, they might not be self-supporting. They certainly weren’t in Reno,” says Hopkins.
Hopkins says the one thing that could be potentially profitable for Lime is the one thing state law doesn’t currently allow, motorized scooters.
“You know, the city was certainly faced with, you know, a bit of a conundrum. They could continue the franchise agreement, but we couldn’t have bikes there in perpetuity.”
Lynn Barker has been managing the relationship with Lime as the city’s sustainability manager. She shares what the city council agrees is the best next step.
“Go through the process of changing the state regulations and creating a local ordinance before we enter into an agreement with a provider. So, it’s not so much a break from Lime, as, you know, we have to get our ducks in row before we move forward,” says Barker.
Barker says now is the time, while the legislature is in session, and the process of getting the law changed is in the beginning stages.
“The bill has not been introduced yet, but the bill is in draft format. All the key players are taking a look at it and providing their comments,” says Barker.
According to Barker passenger vehicle use is responsible for 25 percent of our climate pollution in our community.
“And so we need to figure out ways to get people out of their cars. And the majority of trips that we take are trips that are less than a few miles. So using a solution like an electric scooter or a bicycle will really help us to bring those emissions down,” says Barker.
Hopkins says they don’t see the council’s decision as a negative and expects scooters to be in Reno at some point.
“You know, we signed up as part of this franchise agreement to be a good partner to them. The franchise is over, but we are not going to stop being a good partner to the city.”