CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - Lime, one of the three companies operating electric scooters in Charlotte, says its riders have crossed the 1 million-mile mark in the city.
More than 165,000 riders have used Lime, the company says, with BB&T Ballpark and the Charlotte Rail Trail among the most-visited destinations. Lime says the trips have eliminated 1.5 million pounds of carbon emissions.
The Charlotte Department of Transportation reports riders overall have taken 1.5 million e-scooter trips , totaling 1.7 million miles, since scooters were first permitted to operate in May 2018.
Scooters owned by Lime and Bird were the first to appear on uptown sidewalks. A third company, Spin, has since joined the market.
To mark the million-mile occasion, Lime said it’s offering first-time riders two free ride credits with the promo code FIRSTLIMECLT. Lime Access also offers half-price rides to people who qualify for city, state or federal low-income programs.
The new mode of getting around has come with a cost: scooter accidents and resulting injuries occur at higher rates than do motor vehicles as a whole, the Observer reported in July.
Nearly three dozen people were injured in electric scooter crashes in Charlotte and Raleigh from January 2018 through May 2019. Sixteen injuries were reported in Charlotte and 19 in Raleigh, according to state crash data.
In Charlotte, the 39 total reported scooter crashes in that period represented 28 crashes per 1 million miles traveled. The 16 crashes with injuries produced a rate of 11.5 crashes per million miles.
Motor vehicles in Mecklenburg County, by comparison, crash 3.4 times per 1 million miles, according to three-year averages reported in state data in 2017. Crashes with non-fatal injuries occur 0.9 times per million miles.
No fatalities were reported in North Carolina scooter crashes, but this month a scooter driver in Durham crashed and was run over by a passing car, leaving the rider with life-threatening injuries, WTVD reported.
Lime said Tuesday it’s rolling out a smoother-handling, safer version of its scooters after several weeks of tests in Charlotte. The new Gen3 scooter has a new front-wheel suspension, larger wheels and additional braking, the company said, as well as extended battery capacity and waterproofing of key components.