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How Does LimeBike Work: Everything You Need to Know Before You Rent

Last-mile transportation services are all the rage in the modern gig economy. So it makes sense that you've run into a green LimeBike before. But what are they and how do they work? These are questions we'll answer below.

The sharing economy is booming with companies like Airbnb encouraging people to share their homes and others, like Lime, allowing people to simply rent the transportation they need when they need it.

The convenience of being able to pick up a bike or scooter where and when you need it without having to worry about getting it back to where you started can’t be underestimated in a busy city where bike-sharing companies thrive.

Lime takes the convenience one step further than many of its competitors by allowing you to park your rental bike just about anywhere, instead of having to go blocks out of your way to find a docking station with an available dock.

If you’re interested in making your commute more convenient or just in getting a little exercise and fresh air, keep reading.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about LimeBike, from the costs, where Lime operates, how to find, use, and end a LimeBike rental, safety, customer service, and even how to earn money as a Lime Juicer.

Jump To:

What Is LimeBike?

Lime (formerly LimeBike) is a transportation sharing program which was founded in January 2017 in Greensboro, North Carolina and now operates out of San Mateo, California.

While Lime hasn’t been around for long, they rapidly expanded the types of vehicles you can rent from them and where you can use their service.

Lime vehicles are easily recognizable thanks to their bright green branding and their dockless nature.

If you stumble across some lime green bikes or scooters just hanging out on a corner or near a bus stop in your city, congratulations, because you’ve just found a Lime vehicle hub.

Lime Services

Lime has four different types of vehicles you can rent.

They are:

  • Lime-S: an electric scooter that can go nearly 15 miles per hour
  • LimeBike: an 8-gear pedal bike, 100 percent human-powered
  • Lime-E: an electric assist bike that helps you accelerate as you pedal
  • LimePod: a short-distance rental car, mostly available in urban areas

What Lime Costs

What Lime costs to use varies by country and product.

In the United States, the costs are as follows:

  • Lime-S: $1.00 to unlock and $0.15 per minute to use
  • LimeBike: $1.00 to unlock and $0.15 per minute to use
  • Lime-E: $1.00 to unlock and $0.15 per minute to use
  • LimePod: $1.00 to unlock and $0.40 per minute to use

Lime will automatically deduct the unlocking and per-minute usage costs from the credits on your account.

You can authorize Lime to automatically charge your credit card and refill your credits by selecting “Auto-Reload” on the payments page.

If you’re not in the United States and would like to check your local costs, the Lime smartphone app is the best place to do so.

Where Lime Operates

How Does LimeBike Work: Everything You Need to KnowLime is a global company and operates in many countries including Chile, Singapore, Australia, France, and Canada.

It also operates on college campuses, primarily in the United States and one in Australia.

You can use Lime in dozens of cities in the United States, including New York, Seattle, Dallas, and Chicago

To view the complete list of locations where Lime operates, check out Lime’s website.

How to Find a LimeBike

The easiest and quickest way to locate an available and charged LimeBike is to download the Lime Apple mobile app or Android mobile app through their respective app stores.

You’ll be able to enter your zip code in the app, without having to create an account, and can see which LimeBikes are available near you.

If you don’t see any available LimeBikes near you, you can zoom out to check a greater radius.

This is also helpful if you want to check for LimeBikes in multiple zip codes in your city (say, near work and home) without having to manually check each one.

How to Reserve a LimeBike

How Does LimeBike WorkYou don’t need to reserve a LimeBike to use one.

Once you find a stray LimeBike or a LimeBike hub, unlock the bike with the app.

To unlock the LimeBike, open the Lime mobile app and select the “Ride” button at the bottom of your phone screen.

You can now either scan the QR code using the camera on your smartphone or by manually entering the 6-digit vehicle code, which is located underneath the QR code.

Once the LimeBike is unlocked, you’ll be able to take it for a ride.

Be aware that you are being charged per minute of usage from the minute it is unlocked to the minute the LimeBike is returned, so don’t forget to end your LimeBike rental when you’re done.

How to End a LimeBike Rental

As LimeBikes are a dockless bike share program, you don’t have to return your LimeBike rental to any specific location.

Just park your rental bike in a safe but accessible location.

Make sure wherever you decide to park the bike isn’t impeding pedestrian traffic, blocking vehicle traffic, or on private property.

To lock your LimeBike, push down on the locking arm connected to the rear wheel.

Once your LimeBike is locked, your ride is considered completed and you’ll be provided with a trip summary in the LimeBike app.

LimeBike Safety

While Lime doesn’t require you to wear a helmet when using their bikes, they do highly encourage it.

Take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of everyone else on the road by following typical bike safety rules including:

  • Wear a helmet
  • Don’t ride your bike on the sidewalk
  • Ride in the bike lane
  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Signal turns
  • Be a considerate and aware driver

LimeBike Customer Service

Lime makes it very easy to contact customer service by offering several options.

You can call 1 (888)-LIME-345 or text 1 (888)-546-3345 with your questions or concerns.

If you prefer to communicate through a computer, you can visit their website to submit a request through the form pictured below.

Be sure to fill out your email address, an email subject line, your phone number, the vehicle type, whether you’re a rider, Juicer, or neither, and a description of your question or concern.

How Does LimeBike Work?

A customer service representative will respond to your request via email, usually within a few days.

Become a Lime Juicer

If you’re interested in earning some extra money in your spare time, becoming a Lime Juicer may be a good option for you.

Applying is a fairly quick process, with a very small overhead cost (just the price of the chargers), and Lime pays on a regular basis.

If you’re interested in learning more about what a Lime Juicer earns and how to apply, read our article about being a Lime Juicer here.

LimeBike vs Uber Bikes vs Citi Bike

While you may instinctively think LimeBike is competing with Uber’s new Uber Bikes service, they are actually providing Uber with the bikes for the Uber Bike service.

So you could be riding a LimeBike with Uber branding and not even realize it.

On the other hand, Citi Bike is a true competitor to LimeBike.

Both companies operate popular dockless bike-sharing programs in major United States cities like New York, San Francisco, and Dallas, where they provide an alternative to sitting in stationary traffic jams.

Avoid Rush Hour With LimeBike

Renting a LimeBike for your commute to or from work is an easy way to avoid the rush hour crowds on the subway and the traffic jams you’ll encounter on a bus or in your car.

Biking is generally faster than walking and the breeze will keep you cooler on a hot summer day.

Oh, and you’ll be getting a little exercise, which is always a good thing, especially if you sit at a desk all day.

The next time you need to get from point A to point B, consider giving LimeBikes a try.

It’ll be cheaper and healthier than hopping on the subway or in your car and you’ll see your city as you never have before.

Happy riding!

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