Updated Post: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 11:30 a.m.:
The City of Boise has said Lime's application to roll out e-scooters in the City of Trees is still in process. According to Mike Journee, communications specialist for the office of the mayor, the city is "cautiously optimistic" about the rollout, which could happen as soon as Monday, Oct. 15.
"The application is being evaluated," he said. "[Lime] doesn't yet have a license. We'll stick with the advance work that we did to try to mitigate the challenges other communities are seeing."
Original Post: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 11:18 a.m.:
Last week, transportation-share company Lime rolled out 200 e-scooters in Meridian, but on Oct. 1, thirteen of them were impounded by the Ada County Highway District and the rest have been voluntarily removed by the company.
"They acknowledged that there were some things they could do better," said Meridian City Council Vice President Luke Cavener about Lime, which appeared before the city council on Oct. 2 to discuss its decision to pull the scooters.
Thee-scooters first appeared in Meridian
on Sept. 27, and Lime later confirmed it had placed 200 of the devices across the city later that day, as per a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between it and the city. At the time, company representatives said they had no immediate plans to introduce bikes or e-bikes to Meridian. But within a week Lime scooters had disappeared from Meridian streets.
At issue was where people had left the e-scooters once they were done using them. If left in the sidewalk or in the street, critics warned they could impede pedestrian or car traffic.
"Legally, since we own the sidewalk, if there's something causing a danger, or if it limits access for people, we legally have to remove those [scooters]," said ACHD communications specialist Natalie Shaver.
Lime has since recovered the impounded scooters from ACHD.
"At the request of the City, Lime has chosen to halt local operations until further notice. We look forward to continuing to work with the City, community leaders, and residents to provide affordable and easy transportation options in the near future," wrote Lime communications manager Alex Youn in a prepared statement.
Meanwhile,Lime has officially applied to introduce its devices to Boise streets
. According to Boise Administrative Services Manager Craig Croner, Lime submitted its application the week of Sept. 21, in hopes of rolling out 250 e-scooters—the maximum number of devices allowed by city ordinance.
“This is our first application; [it's the]first time for us to deal with
what we want to line up with our recently passed code,” Croner said. “We’re trying to shoot for a launch date of [Monday,] Oct. 15, provided they pass our guidelines in the process.”
That was last week. There is no word yet on how, or if, the removal of scooters from Meridian will impact Lime's application to introduce e-scooters to Boise.
In August, the Boise City Council passed a package of ordinances placing strict rules on transportation-share companies like Lime. They must obtain a license through the city clerk’s office and promise to deploy between 50 and 250 devices. The application process comes with substantial fees, including a $5,000 annual operator fee, $100 annual charge per device and a $20-per-device security deposit.