Reno City Council ends agreement with Lime

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Reno City Council has voted to end Lime's operating agreement with the city.

The company was looking to extend its franchise agreement with the city through January 2020; however, council members expressed concern over the business model which they say has changed multiple times since the city first entered into an agreement with Lime.

Lime had offered its bicycles for rent in Reno since May of 2018, but wanted to transition the agreement to offer motorized scooters in Reno. The company says it is losing thousands of dollars a month on the bikes, and scooters are the only way for it to make a profit.

However, electric scooters are still illegal under state law. The company says it is working with lawmakers in Carson City to solve the legal issues, but a bill has yet to be introduced in the Legislature.

Ending the agreement means Lime is no longer authorized to operate in the city of Reno. A staff report indicated the company was planning to remove the bikes by Friday before the decision was made, but it is not clear when the bright green bikes will be completely gone from Reno.

The City of Sparks decided to end its agreement with Lime when it expired at the beginning of this year.

Lime allows users to rent its bikes for short periods of time. Users then simply leave the bikes wherever they want once finished their rental time. Some bikes had been found in the Truckee River and in other inconvenient locations.

Lime released the following statement following the city council's decision:

"We are grateful for the city's vision and continued support of mobility options in a changing environment. Reno is a clear innovator and we are both excited for what the future holds, a future that includes scooters. The city has been supportive of the ideas and programs to support all income levels and sustainability causes. Lime looks forward to a continued partnership on these aligned values. We are optimistic about continued collaboration in Northern Nevada. Over the course of the next week, we will work closely with the city on a plan to recycle the remaining fleet of bicycles."