The sharing economy continues to grow and Watkins Glen is joining the movement with a new bike-sharing service called Lime bikes.
Lime bikes arrived in the village on May 31, in a joint effort between the Village board of trustees and the area chamber of commerce. Trustee Laurie Denardo was one of the biggest proponents, and she says the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It gives them opportunities to see the village in a different light and also keeps them out of traffic, as you know probably the construction right now in the village is pretty high and as tourism increases over the summer, this would give people the opportunity to take a stroll around the backstreets and use some of our beautiful trails,” Laurie Denardo said.
As the name suggests, these bikes are bright lime green, which not only makes them visually appealing but also, safer. Bikes can be accessed at any time so nighttime riders don’t have to worry about not being seen in the dark.
The service is touted as a sustainable solution to transportation. Denardo explains how tourists have been frustrated with the limited access to car-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and Lime bikes provide people with an environmentally-friendly alternative.
“I see people going to Walmart and getting groceries. I see people at Tops getting groceries. I saw people riding the bikes going to the ice cream store. So they’re using for not just riding around, they’re using it for intent,” Denardo said.
The service operates on a first-come first-serve basis and it’s 1 dollar to ride for every 30 minutes.
What makes the service unique is that it’s dock-free, meaning there’s no centralized pick-up or drop-off location. All you have to do is download the Lime app on your smartphone, and use the code to unlock it. Then you can ride wherever you want, for however long you want. When you’re done, you can leave the bike in a safe location and pull down a lever to lock it.
A local Lime employee goes around each week to collect bikes and return them to one of the original locations, which can be found at Clute Park, Lafayette Park, near the Chamber of Commerce visitor center, and in front of the State Park. You can locate available bikes through the GPS-enabled app.
The Lime movement is gaining momentum across the country. Locally, you can also find the bikes in Montour Falls.
As an added bonus, your first ride is free.