Lime Bike officially apologized to the City of Reno today for unleashing scooters last week on Reno streets without authorization.
“Last week we brought a bunch of our staff, 30 full time people, to work on scooters,” said Lime’s Gabriel Scheer, before apologizing to the mayor and city council for releasing the scooters.
Mayor Hillary Schieve accepted the company’s apology.
“It creates some doubt that you guys are good partners,” she said of the scooter incident. “That really hurt the intention of what you were trying to do. They could be very dangerous. We want to have a great partner.”
Councilman Paul McKenzie criticized the company.
“I’m completely offended that our attorneys told you this was illegal and you choose to ignore them,” he said. “I’m not at all happy and I’m not ready to forgive or forget.”
The Reno City Attorney’s Office said it worked with Reno Police to look at the law to see where scooters fell. Lime scooters are considered mopeds under Nevada law.
“Based on the research that was done … pursuant to state law there is no question that they fall under (being classified as) a motor vehicle,” said Deputy City Attorney Brian Sooudi.
Scheer said that July is the earliest scooters will return to Reno if changes to state law are needed.
The City of Sparks on Monday voted to remove Lime bikes from Sparks streets effective January 2019. Sparks officials cited poor communication with the company as part of the reason.
The Reno City Council today voted to continue its temporary franchise agreement, which expires the end of January 2019. The more than 500 Lime bikes will remain on Reno and Sparks streets for now.
Scheer said that Lime bikes in the Reno area have seen twice the vandalism and theft rates compared with other cities, including trucks running over bikes, graffiti, and pranks that have damaged the bikes.
“We were clearly off to a rocky start,” said Councilmember David Bobzien. “I appreciate the apology. I think we can get there; I just ask for your patience as we move forward in the coming months.”