New program utilizes an MSF training curriculum, too.
Lime Micromobility is mostly known for its e-scooters. As of January, 2021, they’re located in 100 cities worldwide, as well as on several college campuses. So far, they’ve brought both e-bikes and e-scooters to the masses. Now, they’re about to add e-mopeds into the mix.
Wait, e-mopeds? Isn't that Revel’s domain? Yes, it is, and to rub some additional salt in that wound, Lime is also using the exact same NIU rideshare e-mopeds that Revel currently uses. To make those salt grains approximately the ginormous size of the ones found in decorative salt lamps, Lime’s U.S. e-moped launch city is Washington, D.C.
Guess what other service that currently operates using NIU rideshare e-mopeds is already in our nation's capital? That’s right … Revel. While D.C. isn’t the only place Lime plans to roll out this service, it is the first in the U.S. Lime is also launching e-mopeds in Paris, France at the same time.
Now, the service just launched at the time of writing. However, it does initially seem like Lime learned some valuable lessons from Revel’s missteps. After serious safety concerns and even a couple of deaths, Revel implemented new safety precautions for its riders, including a helmet selfie requirement. You might question how well that might work, and we certainly did. After all, that still didn’t address the seemingly woeful lack of training that Revel riders were required to receive pre-ride.
In 2021, it seems that Lime is taking its e-moped safety measures a little further. To prove that it’s serious, Lime consulted with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to develop what it calls a “multi-chapter rider safety e-course, optimized for learning retention, and a test that must be completed before anyone can begin a ride.”
There’s also an MSF-designed practice guide with home exercises—essentially e-moped homework—for riders to take home and study on their own time. That may not sound like a ton of fun to you, but some people do actually appreciate home study materials. Skills like turning and emergency braking are among the points covered.
“As micromobility offerings diversify, and shift from cycling lanes onto busy city streets, MSF is stepping forward. MSF wants all Lime riders to be safe and have fun. We encourage them to take full advantage of Lime’s training offerings, and to always wear helmets and other riding gear,” MSF VP of training operations Robert Gladden said in a statement.
“We applaud Lime’s decision to include rider education and safety training in their new electric moped program.”
That’s not all. Lime also plans to offer free 45-minute in-person, hands-on lessons taught by MSF-certified instructors to any riders who want them. That was, in fact, a specific thing we were hoping for all the way back in January, 2020.
Other safety measures Lime is implementing include a helmet selfie requirement like Revel has—but there’s more to that, as well. Lime’s e-mopeds will also utilize infrared sensors inside their helmet cases. Those units will tell Lime if a helmet has actually been removed from the case. While a rider bent on not wearing a helmet could still find a way, these should at least make it a little more difficult.
We’re all for getting more people on two wheels safely, so here’s hoping that Lime’s additional safety efforts succeed. There’s no telling how well it will work, but it seems like Lime has the right idea.