Lime operations manager Rachel Skrovina knows people don’t always read the safety warnings and rules before riding the company’s electronic scooters.
That’s why Skrovina and Lime’s Omaha lead operations specialist Jakahi Gregory spent Thursday afternoon hosting the “First Ride” safety event at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
As the end of Omaha’s six-month scooter pilot program approaches, both Lime and Spin will have to remove their scooters from city streets by Nov. 15.
Jennifer Taylor, a lawyer in the City Attorney’s Office who has worked on the scooter pilot program, said she does not expect a final report from the program right away. The city plans to make its findings public by early 2020 , if possible, she said.
Then, Mayor Jean Stothert and the City Council will discuss the future of scooters in Omaha.
In below-freezing temperatures Thursday, Lime representatives gathered in a parking lot on UNO’s Scott Campus to offer tips for using electronic scooters safely:
- Footwork is key. Plant your feet in a T-position with the front foot facing forward for steering and the back foot facing sideways for stability.
- For user safety, the scooter must be manually rolled forward before the electronic acceleration will work. Ride forward until reaching 3 or 4 mph before easing on the accelerator for a smoother ride. From there, you can ride up to 15 mph.
- Check to see if the back tail-light turns on when you hit the brakes. If not, you can report the malfunction on Lime’s app and the company’s in-house mechanics will fix it.
- To avoid a citation from the Omaha Police Department, don’t ride on sidewalks. Use bike lanes or ride close to the curb on streets instead.
- Wear a helmet. In the pilot program’s first four months, 65 scooter-related injuries were treated in Omaha-area hospitals.
- Be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license to scan in the app.
- You can also pause your ride and use the same scooter again. Take a scooter to a cafe, enjoy your coffee and still have a way home.
- Make sure to park the scooter in a proper place — out of walkways and the street — and keep sidewalks clear for pedestrians and accessible for those with disabilities.
- Proper parking also helps keep the scooters in good condition.
- You can reduce your carbon footprint by taking a scooter instead of a car for short trips. Most rides last less than 10 minutes.