Local Connection: Lime Scooter in Honolulu

Local Connection: Lime Scooter in Honolulu

Last week's roll-out of the Lime Scooter-sharing service was a sneak attack on the city bureaucracy, causing one of the angriest public responses we've seen from Mayor Caldwell.

After controversial launches in other cities, Lime defied the mayor's request that they hold off until the plan was vetted by the city lawyers and regulators.

The police response was also vigorous. They seized almost half of the 200 electric scooters as if they were abandoned trash and kept them for five days.

Executives of Lime say their operation was completely legal. They say the scooters are no different than bicycles and the business operates just like Biki bikes, just without the docking stations. They also claim 4,000 rides in just a few days proves the public wants this service.

City lawyers eventually declared the scooters are mopeds under the law – an interpretation that could cripple Lime's business model.

With both sides playing hardball, it's hard to imagine a compromise is possible. But it has to happen.

The city has to prepare itself for new transportation technologies and services. That includes things like smart roadways, autonomous vehicles and ride sharing of all kinds of vehicles.

The road may not be smooth, but is this what we really want

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