Are bike rental companies coming our way?

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    LimeBike rental A LimeBike spotted near the Edmonds Marsh. (Photo by Bill Anderson)

    Lime, a company that rents bicycles and scooters across the U.S., says its “dock-free smart mobility solutions reduce traffic congestion, promote healthy living and solve the all-important challenge of the first and last mile — without subsidies or public funding.”

    LimeBikes have been found scattered from Martha Lake to south Edmonds, prompting questions about the company’s reach into south Snohomish County.

    Company representative Katherine Mackinnon would not say if Lime plans a move north. “I can’t comment on specific cities one way or another.”

    She did add that “Lime would love to serve Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Shoreline and Lynnwood! Currently, Lime operates in five Washington markets: Seattle, Bellevue, Bothell, Mercer Island and Spokane.”

    A survey of city officials in Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood revealed no overtures by the transportation company. The general consensus seems to be, if such a request came in, the only requirement would be a city business license to operate.

    “If they do have interest, we would want to address some issues including business license and temporary right of way usage,” said Virginia Olsen with the City of Mountlake Terrace.

    LimeBikes have been in Bothell for about a year. Barbara Ramey, communications officer for the city, said that the company approached them last fall and obtained a business license.

    The city is looking into the possibility of additional policies. “Our city attorney is reviewing policies of other cities related to bike shares,” said Ramey. “Right now we’re in the research mode.”

    Meanwhile, if LimeBikes are found abandoned in south Snohomish County, Mackinnon offered this remedy: “If bikes are left outside these [established] markets, the Lime operations team are automatically notified and will retrieve them. That said, if residents outside these cities do find a Lime bike, they call our customer service line at 1-888-546-3345.”

    — By Connie McDougall

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