MILWAUKEE -- With anything new comes a learning curve, and electric scooters are no exception. Lime was the first company approved to participate in Milwaukee's pilot program (on July 23), with other companies like Spin and Bird waiting in the wings. One week later, some said e-scooters have proven to be a hit, while others still aren't so sure.
"They are being pretty well utilized," said Mike Amsden, City of Milwaukee multimodal transportation manager. "We have received some complaints."
Amsden said on Tuesday, July 30 that most of the complaints they've received revolve around people riding e-scooters on sidewalks, which is illegal.
"Someone on a scooter should be behaving, generally, as you would be on a bicycle," said Amsden.
Andy Nieznanski learned that the hard way.
"I thought it'd be just a stroke of a pen and insurance just takes care of it... and apparently, it's a little more involved," said Nieznanski.
The self-proclaimed "King of Uber" told FOX6 News his van was struck by an e-scooter Saturday, July 27 while parked near the Up-Down MKE Arcade Bar on Brady Street. The Lime scooter, he says, was being ridden on the sidewalk.
"All the sudden, you can see, they're out of control, and they're either going to fall that way, into people..." Nieznanski said.
...or into his van, which is exactly what happened.
While the damage might have looked minimal, the cost was not. He said the repair estimate was more than $1,200.
Meantime, in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward, some riders said taking e-scooters was cost-effective.
"It's a quick, cheap way to get from one point to another," said Grady Bauer, Lime scooter rider.
Riding from the Third Ward to Walker's Point, Bauer said he is excited e-scooters have landed in the Cream City.
"I think it's great whenever you can give people different modes of transportation," said Bauer.
It was something even the 'King of Uber' agreed with.
"I mean, people gotta have fun," said Nieznanski. "It's a fun city."
While it's not required, Lime officials urge customers to wear a helmet, give the scooter a once-over for damage, and check that the brake is working before riding.
A police department spokeswoman said as of Tuesday, no citations have been issued, and no arrests have been made in connection with the Lime scooters.
Lime officials released the following information on the company's safety initiatives:
- The launch of the Lime Gen 3 scooter with enhanced safety features, including upgraded wheels, better suspension, additional braking, and improved balance.
- Global leader, protecting each ride with $1 million in liability insurance.
- Investing more than $3 million in our Respect the Ride campaign to educate riders about safety and responsible riding, and committed to giving away over 250,000 free helmets.
- First-of-its-kind Safety Brand Ambassador Program to engage communities and educate riders on safety.
- We recently hosted the micromobility industry’s first Education & Safety Summit aimed at helping us improve the safety of our products and operations, promote best-practices for the industry, and set a new standard for safe, multi-modal streets.The day-long summit brought together policymakers, academics, advocates, transportation practitioners, law enforcement, and community leaders to discuss the future of shared micromobility, and help advance safety in this new and evolving space.
- Lime’s Public Policy and Safety Advisory Board comprised of experts with backgrounds ranging from sustainability, safety, transportation policy, urban planning, and academic research, accessibility among others. The group provides advice, counsel, new ideas, and assistance in the development of new policy programs and best practice standards for transportation and safety, and to help ensure our riders and streets remain safe.
- A Dedicated Customer Support team available to riders 24/7 and a robust Trust and Safety team dedicated to promoting responsible riding behavior and addressing safety concerns.
- Recent studies on scooter safety have shown that first-time riders may have a greater risk of injury due to a lack of experience with scooters, and Lime’s First Ride sessions directly addresses this concern and helps to ensure all riders have the safest possible experience. First Ride helps to build a culture of scooter safety, educates riders on how to properly ride a scooter, and demonstrates Lime’s commitment to local communities and ensuring we continue to advance this critically important issue. First Rides are recurring, interactive, hour-long sessions open to the public and hosted weekly by our local teams to educate riders on how to ride a scooter, share best practices for safe and proper riding, and engage community members on the benefits and value micromobility can offer their lives and cities.
CLICK HERE to sign up to become a Lime "Juicer," and get paid to recharge Lime scooters.