SOUTH BEND — Lime has received city approval to launch electric scooters on a 45-day trial basis downtown and on the Indiana University South Bend campus, officials announced Thursday.
The University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College aren’t yet allowing the scooters on their campuses.
Under an agreement that the city’s Board of Public Works approved Thursday, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company Thursday released 250 scooters within the designated area and users will be asked to only ride them on designated bike lanes in the street, the “cycle track” downtown that is marked with bike logos, or on the trail that runs along the St. Joseph River. The city is asking people not to ride them on sidewalks and to wear helmets, said deputy public works director Jitin Kain. If the pilot project goes well, the city will enact regulations requiring Lime to pay the city money that would support police enforcement of such rules.
“Absolutely that is our intent to have an ordinance next year,” Kain said. “We’re doing this pilot and not charging Lime because it’s a very short-term pilot. This will give us some information as we start to develop an ordinance. We are following other communities.”
The development follows recent news that the city of Indianapolis saw 20 injuries of scooter riders during the month of September, according to the Indy Star. The Indianapolis city council in July passed an ordinance prohibiting the scooters on sidewalks, to protect people walking, and police are issuing tickets to violators. At the same time, some users there are afraid to ride them in streets because of vehicular traffic, the newspaper has reported.