LimeBike launch in Metuchen set for Aug. 25

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METUCHEN — Some 50 LimeBikes will roll out during the official launch of the one-year dockless bicycle share pilot program in Metuchen at the end of the month.

“Twenty-five bikes will be introduced on Aug. 25 for people to ride and another 25 bikes [will be introduced] on Aug. 26,” Councilman Todd Pagel said at a Borough Council meeting on Aug. 13.

Pagel said he looks forward to the launch.

“LimeBike and the Traffic and Transportation Committee will be doing a variety of events downtown on Aug. 25 to introduce residents to LimeBike,” he said. “They will teach [the public] how to use LimeBike, they will hand out helmets, free T-shirts, stickers and all that good stuff.”

Pagel said the pilot program will be set at 50 bicycles. He said he, along with the Traffic and Transportation Committee and the council will analyze data during the pilot program and decide if the number of bicycles needs to be increased or decreased.

“LimeBike said they will also roll out [Lime-E electric assist bikes], which are great for people who don’t know how to ride a bike and need assistance,” he said.

He also reported that the borough will get the Lime-E electric assist bikes in a few weeks.

In May, council members authorized a one-year pilot program contract with LimeBike, a San Mateo, Calif., tech mobility company. There will not be any cost to Metuchen.

LimeBike, which was launched in June 2017, aims to provide a sustainable solution to the first and last mile transportation problem. The company operates bicycle sharing systems in several cities and college campuses across the United States, using a mobile app for reservations.

During the pilot program, LimeBike will collect and share ridership data with the Bike Share Task Force. As part of the process, LimeBike will offer promotional materials, helmets and bike safety demonstrations.

An individual will use the LimeBike app to find a bicycle nearby using GPS. Once a bicycle is located, the individual can scan the bicycle with his/her smartphone app to unlock the bicycle and start a ride. The bicycle can be parked and locked wherever a bicycle is allowed.

A LimeBike ride will cost $1 per 30 minutes. For students, faculty and staff, the cost will be 50 cents per 30 minutes.

Individuals may purchase LimePrime for $29.95 per month, which includes $500 in ride credits. For students, faculty and staff, LimePrime costs $14.95 per month and includes $100 in ride credits.

LimeBike will work with low-income residents and residents who do not have a credit card or a smartphone so everyone can take advantage of the pilot program. The company will hire one full-time employee and three part-time employees to manage the pilot program. LimeBike plans to rent space locally to house bicycles that need to be fixed or redistributed.