Sustainability Recipe: Living the Lime (Bike) Life in Ithaca!

Cornell Chronicle June 28, 2018

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Produced in collaboration with Get Your GreenBack Tompkins

Have you noticed the bright green bicycles decorating our streets, parks, community corners and everywhere in between? Welcome to LimeBike (now called Lime), the national bikesharing network made for you. These rides are convenient, easy to use, and cost-effective. Lime gives our community a transportation system that’s cheaper and healthier—for both our planet and people—than driving a car, and way quicker than walking. See ya, Route 13 rush hour traffic! What’s not to love?

Just two months ago, the City of Ithaca teamed up with our community partner BikeWalk Tompkins to launch Lime, an American bikesharing company based out of San Francisco. Here are some fun facts about Ithaca’s Lime experience from an impressive first month:

  • People on Lime have collectively ridden over 7,200 miles in Ithaca. That’s enough to reach New Delhi, India while avoiding over 6,900 pounds of CO2.

  • The average ride is ½ mile and lasts 11 minutes, which is consistent with bicycle rides for transportation within Ithaca.

  • There are over 4,300 individual registered riders, making up almost 15% of Ithaca’s population.

Lime hired local community members – 3 full-time and 4 part-time positions – to manage the bikeshare system. Local Lime staff are doing an incredible job responding to calls in their daily monitoring processes. Anyone with a concern (usually about a physical bike, e.g. where it’s parked or if it needs repairs) can call Lime at 1-888-LIME-345.

You can borrow any Lime bike whenever you want (24/7) by downloading the free Lime app on your smartphone. Don’t worry – if you don’t have a smartphone, you can still use Lime bikes (more details below). Ride wherever you need to go for only $1 per ride of up to 30 minutes. Your first 30-minute ride is free, so why not get started today?

How to Lime in Ithaca: Get Started

  1. Download the Lime app on your smartphone.

  1. Open the app and register using your phone number or Facebook profile.

  2. Click “Allow” for location services and, later on, camera access so you can find and scan bikes.

  3. Add a payment method, such as a debit or credit card.

How to Get Around:

  1. Unlock a bike by hitting the big “Ride” button on the app and scan the QR code located under the back of the seat.

  2. Ride where you need to go: $1/ride of up to 30 minutes.

  • We encourage you to take one-way rides – no need to bring back the bikes.

  • If you exceed 30 minutes, you’ll be charged $1 for every additional 30-minute increment.

  • Free helmets are available at the Ithaca Carshare office on the lower floor of Dewitt Mall during afternoon business hours (Monday-Friday 12-5pm) while supplies last.

  1. Park the bike and lock it by sliding the wheel lock downwards.

  • Don’t forget to lock the bike to end your trip!

  • Park next to public bike racks, on the furniture zone of sidewalks (where parking meters or signage would be), or on tree lawns within the City of Ithaca.

  • Park only next to public bike racks in university campuses – we want to save the bike racks for privately owned bicycles because our LimeBikes are free-standing.

Bike Etiquette:

  1. Wear a helmet, please! Local and state laws require children 13 and under to wear helmets. You’re not breaking the law if you’re older and don’t wear one… but who can resist a free helmet and guaranteed safety? Be smart.

  2. Use the roads. The local law states children 10 and under and people with disabilities may ride on the sidewalks. All other bikers need to use the roadway. If you feel you must ride on the sidewalk, do so at a walking pace and yield to pedestrians. These guidelines and more are located in the national League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling Quick Guide. The guides are not free, but previews are available here.

  3. Park only next to public bike racks in university campuses.