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News >  Spokane

Lime scales back scooters in Spokane due to COVID-19

UPDATED: Fri., July 31, 2020

On her lunch break, Sarah Norton rides a Lime scooter Tuesday across Main Avenue.  (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
On her lunch break, Sarah Norton rides a Lime scooter Tuesday across Main Avenue. (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Lime is responding to new public health restrictions by reducing the number of scooters on Spokane city streets and implementing changes meant to diminish crowding and encourage mask use.

The transportation company will no longer allow scooter use downtown after 10 p.m. or in Riverfront Park at all, and will notify riders that the state requires them to wear a mask in public.

The city of Spokane announced the changes Friday.

Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee expanded the state’s mask order and announced additional restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19. They include a requirement that restaurants stop alcohol service at 10 p.m.

Inslee has also ordered a pause on advancement through the state’s reopening plan. Spokane County is currently in Phase 2.

Lime will now set a 10 p.m. curfew on scooter use in recognition of the alcohol limitations to better-align scooter use with the governor’s new order.

The company will disperse its scooters in groups of no more than five to discourage congregating and will notify a rider that they are required to wear a mask when they activate the scooter through their mobile phone.

The elimination of Riverfront Park is designed to encourage scooter use for essential purposes and to discourage crowds, according to the city. Through “geofencing,” scooters will automatically stop working when the rider enters Riverfront Park.

The changes complement additional precautions the company says it has taken to combat the spread of COVID-19, including nightly cleaning of its scooters and bicycles.

Earlier this year, the company launched the LimeAid program, which gives unlimited 30-minute rides to public health and safety personnel.

Lime scooters and bicycles returned to city streets earlier this month, after delays due to weather and then the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the second full year Lime has operated in Spokane. Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, city officials proposed earlier this month that the fees the company pays the city be eliminated for 2020. A final decision on the proposal has not been made.

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