City says Lime scooters need to be off the streets by Saturday

City says Lime scooters need to be off the streets by Saturday

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - After debuting their scooter ride share program on Tuesday in Charlotte, Lime went silent.

This week, the company launched roughly 50 scooters that you can rent and then leave wherever when you are done using them.

However, the city announced that the company did not go through the proper channels of permitting to launch those new scooters.

"Unfortunately, Lime came out and chose to stop communication with the city that was working very hard to figure that out for them," said Councilman Tariq Bokhari, District 6.

Also, the company asked riders and citizens to send a robo email to council members asking them to keep the scooters. Those emails flooded council member's computers.

"They company didn't tell them the whole story and said the city was the bad guy which was not the case," said Bokhari.

Despite a cease and desist letter this week from the city, the scooters were still out Friday night.

"They were at the same drop point as always and charged up," said Cole Rhodes who was riding a scooter Friday afternoon.

The question will be what happens if the scooters are still on the city streets in the morning.

"After today, they are in violation of city ordinances if they continue to allow these Lime scooters to be on the streets," said councilman Bokhari. "We have the ability to impound, we have the ability to set fines."

"I hope they stay on the streets, they seem like they have been fun so far and people have enjoyed using them," said James Murphy who works at one of the drop zones for the scooters in NoDa.

Councilmember Bokhari says he's not opposed to having them ,he just wants LimeBike to go through the proper channels.

"It is not because we do not like these scooters on our streets. In fact, a lot of us actually love them and we want them here," said the councilman.

"If they have their scooters on private property, people grab them, use them, and then return them to private property?" Bokhari said.

Charlotte is already in talks with other ride sharing companies that want to come to the city. Councilmember Bokhari met with one of the companies Friday.

"They told me that, 'we see how following your process is something that is really important to you guys, so, what can we do?' We are in rapid conversations with them," Bokhari said.

A source said Lime sent a letter to riders Saturday regarding the city's decision to establish a permit to allow for dock-free mobility in Charlotte by May 21.

It appears that Lime has pulled their scooters from the streets and will hopefully work with the city to get them back on the streets by May 21.

There could potentially be three scooter companies in Charlotte by May 21.

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