LimePods join Seattle’s crowded shared transit fleet

(Image: Lime)

We’re well on our way to a Wall-E future where everybody rides a chair.

This week, Lime — after announcing its share bikes will soon be an all-electric fleet — also rolled out its LimePods for the general public in Seattle.

“Until now, the LimePod has only been available to a select group of super users and influencers,” we’re told.

LimePods, by the way, are cars. Eventually, the plan is for an electric ‘pod fleet, too. But, for now, Lime is just another floating car share gas guzzler in this town joining BMW’s ReachNow and Daimler’s car2go floating car share brands.

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The four wheeled providers are also considering the two-wheeled market as Uber and Lyft are joining Lime with bikes for rent on the streets of Seattle. You can’t miss Uber Jump bikes distributed on most busy corners in Capitol Hill and, last year, Lyft completed its acquisition of Motivate, “the nation’s largest bike-sharing company.”

The shifts come as data shows the share services hugely popular in Seattle and are contributing to the city’s clogged streets with around 40,000 motor vehicle rides a day starting in downtown, Belltown, South Lake Union, and  on Capitol Hill.

SDOT says the bike shares, meanwhile, are an important addition to the public transit environment in the city. “At no cost to the City of Seattle, bike share users took over 2 million total rides through September 2018, including over 9,000 rides per day in July,” SDOT said last year. “Three-quarters of people who used bike share said that they used it to access public transit.”

The Durkan administration, meanwhile, has championed electric cars in the city and doing more to increase their adoption. Seattle City Light plans to install 18 more DC Fast Chargers for electric vehicles at 10 to 15 curbside and off-street locations across the city including one near Capitol Hill Station. A community meeting on the planned Broadway installation — which, by the way, would need to be moved to make way for any extension of the existing bikeway — has been rescheduled for March.

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10 thoughts on “LimePods join Seattle’s crowded shared transit fleet

  1. On the plus side, the little Fiat Lime Pods are smaller and more fuel efficient than the other car shares. As someone who ditched their car 2 years ago and is relying on car shares, I can tell you I drive a whole lot less when I have to pay for each minute. But a car is essential for some things in this city, so the car shares are an important part of the mix.

  2. Buyer beware: when you sign up for the LimePod service in the app the company automatically charges you $15 to pull your driving record. Nowhere in the application process do they indicate you will be charged this–you just get an email later saying: “A $15 fee was charged to your account to pay for the motor vehicle record check. But don’t worry – we already reimbursed your account with a $15 Lime credit”

    • Actually when I signed up yesterday on the app, I got a notice for the $15, and something to the effect of by continuing you are agreeing to the record check. But that’s just my experience.

      • I guess it’s possible I somehow missed it, or fat fingered through a pop up, but I honestly did not see it.

        Either way their “$1 to start” claim is false advertising.

  3. The article claims that car shares, “…contribute to the clogged streets of Seattle.” Car shares don’t encourage driving as much as they encourage people to not own cars. When you don’t own a car, you drive A LOT less.

    If car shares weren’t available, I would need a car for work. There’s be no way around that. If I had a car payment and paid $200 for parking in my building, and insurance and maintainance…if I had to pay all of that every month, you can bet I’d be driving several times a week to get my money’s worth. Instead, I get a car2go a couple times a month.

    Having said that, I’ve had some terrible experiences with Car2go’s customer service lately…experiences so bad that I’m once again considering owning a car.

  4. The Fiat 500 is a 6spd 4cyl 1.4l ICE that gets at 27MPG combined rating. That is hardly a “gas guzzler”.

    The article cited as evidence that free floating car share vehicles are contributing to downtown congestion is actually an article about Uber and Lyft which are a completely different type of service.

    This is such a sloppy article. Very disappointing from CHS Blog.

    • Yeah, I thought that was odd too…had trouble believing such a tiny car was a “gas hog”– unless you’re an extreme car hater and your definition of gas hog is “any car that burns gas at all”.

      There definitely have been some studies alleging *ride* shares are carrying people who otherwise might bus or walk. Can’t generalize that to *car* sharing, though.

  5. Simple solution – charge a $10 a day access fee for an ICE to access downtown traffic and design a computer app that provides for massive penalties for taxi/ ride shares that could easily be made or shortened significantly using transit.

    All taxis/ride shares must be EV’s within two years.

  6. There has been a lime car parked on our street for about three weeks! Is this going to happen on every street in Seattle? The city ordinance says there is a 72 hour limit on parking without being moved.

  7. I use these pods all the time. In fact outside of rush hour its usually faster, cheaper and safer than an uber. And there’s no subscription fees like the other services.

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