Decatur’s commission recently passed an electric scooter ordinance after an 8-month interim agreement with Lime, the only scooter company currently operating within city limits.
Operating hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., a compromise with the company, according to Nima Daivari, Lime’s community affairs manager for the state of Georgia.
“We’d rather see no cutoff,” he said. “It’s a disadvantage for our restaurant and retail people who get off work [around 9 p.m.]. Plus our scooters have headlights and taillights visible up to 500 feet.”
Helmets aren’t required via the ordinance but Daivari said the company is “pro helmet … not using helmets is a violation of our terms of service, but it doesn’t break the law.”
Other highlights of the ordinance: rider age is 18 and older; you can’t ride on sidewalks; it’s preferred riders use dedicated bicycle lanes where they exist, and otherwise stay on the roadway; parking must be upright on hard surfaces without obstructing pedestrians or cars; speed is 15 mph.
Lime, which came to Decatur last December, does offer a free monthly scooter riding class at the Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St. The next one is Wednesday (Sept. 25), 5:30-6:00 p.m., and you can RSVP (required) to email@example.com.
A San Francisco-based company that launched in Greensboro, N.C, in June 2017, Lime surpassed 100 million rides worldwide earlier this month. The company operates in over 120 cities across 30 plus countries, but is in only three Georgia communities: Decatur, Atlanta and the Georgia Southern campus in Statesboro.
Lime doesn’t share its total number of scooters in Statesboro, but has 2000 in Atlanta (the maximum allowed for any company by that city’s ordinance) and 75 in Decatur (also the maximum).
During the 8-month interim the average trip length in Decatur was 0.8 mile, about the same as it is in Atlanta. Most Decatur trips revolve around the three MARTA stations and the downtown square.
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