Mayor says it's illegal, Lime says electric scooters are here to stay

Mayor says it's illegal, Lime says electric scooters are here to stay
Updated: May. 15, 2018 at 10:21 AM HST
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It has launched in about 60 markets to mixed reviews. Lime started its electric scooter service in Honolulu on May 12, 2018. It's a clean, green way to get around a dense urban core. But the Honolulu Police Department have been picking up the scooters over the weekend, treating them like abandoned property. Officers say they have even been dumped in the Ala Wai.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell appeared on Sunrise and was clearly displeased with the launching of the scooter service. He said "They're in our bus stops, causing ADA problems, they're on our sidewalks, people can trip on them. They're in the Ala Wai Canal. They're in our parks. What they're doing is clearly illegal." City officials also sent a letter to Lime executives asking it to shut down because it does not have the authority to operate in Honolulu.

Lime Honolulu Operations Manager Nima Daivari disagrees and said the company is registered in Hawaii. He welcomes any feedback from the administration, but he said they are not aware that the company is breaking any laws. He also disputes that the scooters were being dumped in the Ala Wai. He said, that according to its GPS tracking system, that was simply not true and that the company tracks each scooter.

Other cities from San Francisco to Charlotte have reported problems with the scooters getting left all over, blocking sidewalks or clogging parking spots. There are no docking ports, like bike sharing services offer. The electric scooters are so new, that there are often not a lot, if any, laws to regulate the industry. Lime says it works 24 hours a day to make sure that scooters aren't left laying around. It has a crew working around the clock to pick them up. If you see one, you can call, text or email the location and within 4 hours, a crew member will pick it up. The electric scooters are only supposed to be used from 6 am until 10 pm. It costs $1 to unlock and then costs 15 cents per mile.

As for the rules, Lime admits it's not legal to ride the scooters on sidewalks in Hawaii. But they are allowed wherever bikes are, which includes streets and bike lanes. You're not required to wear a helmet if you're over 16 years old, but the company recommends that you do. That may be moot since you have to be 18 years old to rent one.

For now, Lime says it plans to stay in Honolulu and hopes to work with the administration so that the city can offer multiple ways to travel.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now.