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How Much Do LimeBikes Cost? Plus, How to Save With Lime Access

Last updated: January 8, 2020
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The next time you’re downtown, take a look around to see what mobility options your city has to offer. With so many micro-mobility solutions out there, it’s hard to keep up.

You’ll likely find the more traditional options of taxis, buses, subways, and other forms of public transit. You’ll probably also find the rideshare standards — Uber and Lyft.

But what about all those brightly colored bikes and scooters zipping all over town? You might be thinking, ”What are those all about and how much do they cost?”

Today we’re going to look at LimeBikes: how much they cost, how you pay to use them, and how you can save money renting in the future.

Overview of Lime

Lime is a dockless bike share and scooter rental company that rents bicycles, e-bikes, and scooters to people in densely populated cities. By downloading the Lime app, you can rent multiple transportation options and ride anytime for a small fee.

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Instead of spending more money on a rideshare or other form of transportation, you can save money by renting a bike or scooter to quickly get you across town. It’s also much cleaner for the environment compared to other transportation options.

Lime Rental Options

While LimeBikes and Lime scooters are the most popular rental options, these aren’t the only forms of transportation Lime offers. All of Lime’s rental options are dockless — you won’t find any bike racks in sight.

Lime offers the following scooter and bike sharing rental options:

  • LimeBike: 8-speed dock-free pedal bike that started the micro-mobility movement
  • Lime-S: Electric scooter with a rechargeable lithium battery and 250-watt motor
  • Lime-E: Electric-assist bicycle that helps you accelerate as you pedal
  • LimePod: Car-sharing option, similar to Zipcar, that lets you reserve a car for short periods of time

Now that you know what you can rent, let’s talk about how renting Lime vehicles works.

How Do Lime Rentals Work?

To rent a LimeBike or scooter, you must first download the Lime app. After signing up for Lime, you can open the app and search the map for nearby rentals.

Within the mobile app’s map view, you’ll be able to see all of the available bikes, electric-assist bikes, and scooters you can rent in your area. Once you find a nearby rental, you either scan the QR code on the bike or scooter, or enter the identification number to unlock your rental.

You can then drive your rental around for as long as you’d like, but remember, you’ll be charged a certain rate for every minute of your rental.

Once you’re finished riding, you can park your rental in a safe location, finish your ride on the app, and lock up your rental to complete your ride.

Related: Earn some money as a Lime scooter charger!

Where Is Lime Available?

The LimeBike and scooter share program is available in cities all across the United States. It’s even available in many other countries around the world.

In the United States, cities like Seattle, Boston, and Orlando all have LimeBikes and scooters on nearly every street corner. Outside the U.S., our neighboring countries of Canada and Mexico also have Lime in some cities. Even places overseas, like the United Kingdom, Australia, and France have bikes and scooters scattered around town.

For a full list of where Lime is available, you can check out Lime locations.

How Much Do LimeBikes Cost?

In order to rent a Lime option, you’ll be charged a fixed fee to unlock the rental and a per-minute rate for every minute you have your rental reserved.

For the most part, all Lime options cost the same, besides LimePods. The cost of each rental is as follows:

  • LimeBike, Lime-S, and Lime-E: $1.00 to unlock and 15 cents per minute
  • LimePod: $1.00 to unlock and 40 cents per minute

These fixed and per-minute rates will vary from city to city and will sometimes be affected by other factors like rental availability, day of the week, time of day, and current promotions in your area.

How to Pay for LimeBikes

When you sign up for the LimeBike app, you’ll be asked to provide your credit card information. You can then purchase Lime credits that you can use towards your rentals.

Before renting, you’ll be shown the fixed and per-minute rental rates. After your rental is completed, credits will be automatically deducted from your account for each ride you take.

Lime Cost vs. Competitors

In some cities, you’ll have the option of using other rental companies to reserve bikes and scooters. Lucky for you, pretty much all of these bike-share programs and transportation options have comparable rates.

If you take a look at Skip and Bird — two scooter rental companies — the price of renting is exactly the same. For both of these services, you’ll pay $1.00 to unlock the scooters and 15 cents for every minute you use them.

If we take a look at Zipcar to see how it compares to Lime’s LimePod short-term car rental option, you’ll see that Zipcar is a much cheaper option if you plan on renting for close to an hour. The cost of a one-hour rental for Zipcar starts around $9.00.

If you were to rent a LimePod for one hour at 40 cents per minute and $1.00 to unlock, it would cost you $25.00 per hour. However, if you plan on renting the vehicle for under 20 minutes, then you should go with Lime to receive the cheaper deal.

Overview of Lime Access

Lime Access is a program that gives people an affordable and accessible transportation solution. Lime Access gives riders with low income significantly lower rates when renting.

Lime says that it’s dedicated to offering convenient forms of transportation, regardless of your financial status. This program can be used by all who qualify, even if they don’t own a cell phone or credit card to reserve a Lime rental.

As a Lime Access member, you’ll be able to rent all of Lime’s bikes and scooters, but you won’t receive a reduced rate on their automobiles, LimePods. So how much exactly will you save?

Cost of Lime Access

The cost of being a Lime Access member is substantially lower than regular Lime fares. As a member of Lime Access, you’ll receive 50% off Lime-S scooters and Lime-E electric bike rentals, and a whopping 95% off LimeBike rentals

The cost of each Lime Access rental option is as follows:

  • Lime-S and Lime-E: 50 cents to unlock, 7 cents per minute
  • LimeBike: 5 cents for every 30 minutes

This is an incredible discount, and you should take advantage if you qualify for the program. Let’s take a look at what the qualifications are for Lime Access.

How You Can Qualify for Lime Access

In order to receive reduced rental rates, you need to show that you qualify for the Lime Access program. In order to qualify, you need to provide some personal information and you must be able to provide proof of low-income status.

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In order to apply for the program, you can fill out this application form and wait about two days for a representative to get back to you. You should be prepared to provide the following information once the representative contacts you:

  • Full name
  • Phone number you’ll use for Lime
  • Valid government photo ID
  • Proof of low-income status (EBT card, discounted utility bill, or any state or federally funded assistance program discount)

Once you’ve successfully applied and qualified for the program, you’ll be given a PayNearMe payment code for you to complete your payment.

PayNearMe is a payment service that allows you to pay for things at store locations all around your city. You simply print out your payment code, bring it to one of these PayNearMe locations, and pay with cash, credit, or debit.

After you’ve completed your purchase, remember to save your receipt as proof of purchase. You can then proceed to rent a LimeBike, Lime-E, or Lime-S with the code that you’re given.

It’s important to note that Lime Access is only available to those within the United States. If you have any questions regarding Lime Access, you can email support at [email protected].

Decide to Ride

The next time you take a bike ride to explore downtown or need a quick and easy way to get from A to B, consider LimeBikes or scooters.

In many ways, it can be more convenient, cost-effective, and just flat out more fun than taking other forms of transportation.

The next time you have the choice, we recommend giving Lime a shot.

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