The City of Boulder, in partnership with Lime, BCycle, the University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder County, and the Boulder Chamber, is launching a new Shared Micromobility Program that includes a new e-scooter pilot program in East Boulder and additional BCycle e-bikes and docking stations across the city.
The program launch follows approval by City Council in September 2020 to allow dockless e-scooter and e-bike companies to operate in the city. In March 2021, the city issued an RFP for operators of the Shared Micromobility Program and selected Lime and BCycle, LLC (a subsidiary of Trek Bicycle) as operators for the program. Bid requests were reviewed by the city, CU Boulder and Boulder County for alignment with community goals.
The Lime and BCycle programs support Boulder’s Transportation Master Plan and Climate Action Plan, which call for reducing vehicle trips and their related greenhouse gas emissions through increasing access to shared and electric mobility options.
East Boulder E-Scooter Program
Beginning Aug. 18, Lime will deploy 200 e-scooters in East Boulder, east of 28th Street, to provide non-vehicular travel options for area employees, students and residents. East Boulder was chosen for the e-scooter pilot program since it is one of the top employment centers in the city, is home to CU Boulder’s East Campus and has several commercial areas.
Safety is a priority for the e-scooter program and the city and CU Boulder are taking the following steps to promote safe use of the devices:
- The dockless e-scooters will be deployed in zones that allow for clear, unobstructed passage of pedestrians on/near sidewalks and in commercial areas and that do not impede Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility or the boarding or departure of transit users. Lime is required to collect all e-scooters and replace them at deployment zones daily.
- The e-scooters will be geofenced, meaning they will shut down if users try to take them out of designated areas. Scooters will not be operable west of 28th Street, including on the CU Boulder Main Campus.
- The e-scooters are outfitted with Lime’s Training Mode, a new feature designed to make the first ride on a Lime scooter smoother and more comfortable. When a rider turns on Training Mode, the max scooter speed will be reduced to just 8 miles per hour, so first-time or early riders can get the feel for riding at a comfortable speed.
- The e-scooters have a speed limit of 15 mph and can only be used during the hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Riders are encouraged to always wear a helmet. Lime provides discounted helmets – more information is available here.
The city and Lime will track e-scooter usage data and evaluate the program after one year of operation to determine whether adjustments are needed.
"Lime is thrilled to be launching a scooter share program in Boulder and looks forward to working with the city, the university, and our local partners to provide residents, students, and visitors with a safe and sustainable way of getting around,” said Nico Probst, Director of Government Relations at Lime. “With Boulder launching scooter sharing and Colorado Springs soon to do so in addition to our newly launched program in Denver, Lime hopes that our regional network of scooter sharing in Colorado will result in even more efficient, safe, and sustainable programs for the cities we serve."
BCycle E-Bike Program
The city has selected BCycle, LLC (a subsidiary of Trek Bicycle) to operate Boulder’s bike share system and expand e-bike access as part of the city’s Shared Micromobility Program, effective Aug. 13. Nonprofit Boulder Bike Sharing (BBS) previously operated the city’s bike share program in partnership with BCycle, which runs bike share programs around the country.
As part of its contract, BCycle will convert the Boulder BCycle system to a fully electric pedal assist e-bike fleet and expand the station footprint throughout the city to provide convenient access to shared e-bikes for more community members. The expansion will increase access with new stations in East and South Boulder and more stations in Central and North Boulder.
“BCycle is thrilled to build upon the solid foundation that Boulder Bike Sharing has developed in the community over the past decade,” said Morgan Ramaker, Executive Director of BCycle. “With an all e-bike fleet, we’re eager to take that service to the community to the next level, providing a meaningful transportation alternative to get more people on bikes and out of cars.”
Micromobility and Community Goals
The Shared Micromobility Program will provide important mobility options that can replace single-occupant vehicle trips and enable first- and final-mile trips to and from transit stops. Boulder’s Transportation Master Plan, Climate Action Plan and the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan include goals related to reducing vehicle trips and transportation-related greenhouse emissions through building out the city’s multimodal system.
“We’re excited to launch this Shared Micromobility Program and provide more options for our community members to get where they need to go, whether for work, school or errands,” said Transportation and Mobility Department Director Erika Vandenbrande. “Transportation is one of the leading emitters of greenhouse gases and shared electric bikes and scooters make it easier - and more fun! - to skip a car trip and get around in a greener way.”
“We are pleased that so many partners who share values around multimodal transportation options and climate solutions have come together to make this program a reality,” said David Kang, CU Boulder vice chancellor for infrastructure and sustainability. “E-scooters and e-bikes have the potential to be transformational in our efforts to get cars off the road while also improving the quality of transportation services for our students, faculty, staff and the broader community in ways that are cleaner and more sustainable.”
“Seeing this Shared Micromobility Program come to fruition represents a collaborative response, including the partnership with Lime and BCycle, to the business community’s interest in adopting creative technology solutions for their mobility needs,” said John Tayer, Boulder Chamber President and CEO. “Instead of a long walk from the regional commuter bus to their office or having to jump in the car to secure that afternoon caffeine jolt, Boulder employees can now take an electric bike or scooter to their destination. That is the perfect marriage of transportation convenience and environmental sustainability!”
Please note that e-bikes and e-scooters are not allowed on Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) trails, OSMP paved multi-use trails, or the Boulder Canyon Trail, which is managed by Boulder County and connects to the Boulder Creek Path.
More information about the city’s Shared Micromobility Program and FAQs can be found at https://bouldercolorado.gov/services/shared-micromobility-program.
Samantha Glavin, City of Boulder Media Relations, 720-667-9480
Joshua Lindenstein, University of Colorado Boulder, 303-492-3120
Morgan Bierbaum, Boulder Chamber Marketing Specialist, 303-938-2068