A Lime Scooter Experience

A Lime Scooter Experience

I recently satisfied my curiosity about the rental scooters floating around Cincinnati by trying one out. As the city is littered with Lime and Bird scooters, I decided to try whatever brand I encountered first, which was a Lime located at Smale Riverfront Park. Here are some notes on my experience.

When I first encountered the scooter, I quickly found a QR code on the handlebar that took me to the app. After downloading and installing, it didn’t take long to set up my payment information and unlock the scooter for use.

Operating the scooter came naturally despite never having ridden one before. It’s literally just a throttle and a hand brake. Surprisingly, the scooter had more zip than what I expected although it’s lack of torque means you kick start it. I did have to assist it up a moderately steep slope, but I’m a big guy so I can’t hold that against them.

The only misgiving I had about the entire experience involved safety. My understanding is that people who ride rental scooters often keep a helmet with them, and I wish I had one with me as I’m not sure I’m still in “tuck and roll” shape if I had encountered a mishap. (Note: Lime requires you to wear a helmet, evidently I violated the ToS).

As far as the biggest positive takeaway, I liked being able to drop the scooter off at my vehicle when I completed my ride and not back at the spot I found it, which is a massive advantage over BCycle. Finishing the ride just required me to lock the scooter via the app after taking and uploading a photo of where I parked it.

Price-wise it’s pretty inexpensive. I payed $1 to unlock it and 15 cents a minute to use it, so roughly $9 an hour. My understanding is that pricing is demand based, so it will fluctuate. I used it during a weekday when it was cold outside so my rate was probably on the low end (EDIT: I’ve seen it now on a summer weekend at 29 cents a minute).

I’m curious about the ability to keep it locked and with you if you plan on making a multi-stop trip. I wouldn’t want to ride one to a restaurant and come back out and it’s gone. I have heard you lock it, continue paying by the minute, and then pay another $1 to unlock it again, but I’m not sure if that’s the protocol. Overall I think they’re great for getting around on short jaunts downtown.

The app itself is pretty cool. A map shows you available units are and their battery level. You can click on a scooter in the map screen and reserve it for a fee so it’s not missing when you show up. You can also ping them so they play a sound if you’re having trouble finding them as well.

The real answer to if I liked it would be “would I use it again?” The answer would be “yes”. I think it would be fun to go on a pub crawl through the city. I’d do a circuit that hit up Queen City Radio, 16 Bit Arcade, and Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey. These are all places you can get to via a route that’s relatively flat and with limited free parking, which would be perfect for a scooter.


Lime Scooter App Screen
Lime Scooter App Screen