A Green Way to Ride

As anyone walks down Kavanaugh, they’ll see black and green scooters flash by. These are not some kids on toy scooters gone rogue; this is the newest form of transportation in Little Rock.

Little Rock Soiree reports that these scooters are from a program called Lime. Lime is based out of San Francisco and started a pilot program in Little Rock back in January. The scooters are $1 to unlock and $0.14 per mile to ride. The scooters are GPS enabled and you can find them by downloading the app.

Since the scooters are primarily in neighbors where lots of CHS students live, many students have used them. Senior Worth Wilsey has used the scooters before and enjoys them. He said, “I had heard about the scooters from a few friends, but I had never really seen one. Then, one day when I was out on a run in Hillcrest, I saw them on what felt like every street corner. I counted on my way back and there were over 30 within a few blocks. A few days later I tried it out and had a great time.”

Although for many people the scooters are just a fun way of transportation, for some people it can be a way to make money. Senior Will Cunningham has been making money charging the scooters. He said, “I first heard about the scooters in early February. I didn’t really give it much thought, but then I found out you could make money charging them. I looked it up on the website and applied. They accepted my application and I started charging them.

“I get paid about $4 to charge a scooter. The more dead the battery on a scooter is, the more money I receive, stopping at $4. They gave me four chargers so I can only charge four a night. I can pick them up starting at 9:00 p.m. and I have to have them back by 7:00 a.m. or I don’t get the full amount. You can buy more chargers so you can charge more. Some people are really serious about it.”

Collecting the four scooters can be hard. Sometimes Cunningham’s friends help him. Senior Lorne Paladino said, “All of mine and Will’s friends have a lot of fun with the scooters. It is an adventure to collect them. When we pick them up to charge the scooters, the app unlocks them so we are able to ride them around. They are a lot of fun.”

Recently Little Rock’s new mayor has put the future of Lime scooters in Little Rock on hold. *Little Rock City Attorney Tom Carpenter wrote Lime that the six-month trial period would not be renewed. Mayor Frank Scott Jr. cited concerns over Lime’s lack of attention to safety for both riders and pedestrians. Mayor Scott Jr. is, however, open to the possibility of a scooter program in the future, but with a few changes. Cunningham said, “The scooters were are only supposed to be in Little Rock for a six-month trial. The mayor is ending the contract with Lime in May, but not the idea of the scooters. I think everyone loves them and they are a great thing to have around, especially downtown and in the Hillcrest area.”

*Information from Arkansas Times, Arkansas Blog Wednesday, January 30th.

Lime scooters sit idle in the morning before anyone rides them. Residents of the Hillcrest area have complained about Lime scooter riders darting into traffic and weaving between pedestrians. Photos by Dax de Bin.

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