Lime scooters will return to St. Paul, but bike-sharing remains an unknown – Twin Cities

St. Paul City Council is set to strike a five-year deal with Lime to bring electric scooters back to the capital.

On Wednesday, the board is due to vote on approving a deal with the San Francisco-based supplier to supply electric-assist scooters for 2022, with the option to renew for four additional one-year terms by mutual agreement. St. Paul has allowed e-scooter sharing programs since 2018, when Lime and a major competitor, Santa Monica, Calif.-based Bird, flew in the Twin Cities market without a license from the multiple municipalities in which they operate.

The two companies subsequently sought permission — more than pardon — and enforced annual agreements reviewed by City Council, St. Paul Public Works, and other City Hall powers.

City officials haven’t said whether e-bikes or Bird scooters will also return to town, but they confirmed on Thursday that they were in talks with several shared mobility providers. While Nice Ride, a nonprofit and Lyft-affiliated bike-share provider, continues to operate in Minneapolis, St. Paul has not hosted bike-shares — neither e-bikes nor bicycles. Nice Ride more traditional – since 2019.

Last fall, the city entered into a memorandum of understanding with Minneapolis to participate in a joint solicitation program, with the goal of coordinating similar bids on either side of the Mississippi River. Lime is also back in Minneapolis.

“Each of us puts in place separate contracts,” said Lisa Hiebert, spokeswoman for St. Paul Public Works. “We hope to have a scooter and bike share program in St. Paul this year.”

The written resolution the city council will vote on next week calls electric scooters “an emerging new mobility option that has proven very popular in other cities across the United States and around the world for getting around town using a low-carbon mobility option” and “an important and valuable transportation service for St. Paul residents and visitors.

Among the details, Lime will pay the city a travel fee of 10 cents per trip for each trip that begins or ends in the city. These fees are paid to St. Paul on a monthly basis.

In addition to the regular ride fee, Lime will pay a “park impact fee” of 20 cents per scooter for all trips that begin or end at a city park. The city will also be reimbursed for staff time spent moving or removing scooters from prohibited locations, at a rate of $35 per scooter, as well as a storage rate of $20 per day at the public works facility. of Dale Street.

However, unless a scooter is interfering with city maintenance or operations, the city must notify Lime of the problem before moving the scooter to an authorized location. Lime will then have two hours to come into compliance, or 10 hours for issues reported between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

About Terry Simmons

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