Lime scooter company says it’s continuing operations despite letter from city

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Honolulu police have confiscated more electric scooters around town.

The scooters are part of a controversial new pilot program from a company called Lime.

The city says Lime is operating illegally.

We spoke with company officials to get more answers.

A representative for Lime told KHON2 the company is still renting out scooters despite being told by the city to cease operations. The city said no fines have been issued yet.

A city spokesman said 90 Lime scooters have been confiscated by police since the pilot program launched over the weekend.

Sam Dreiman, Director of Strategic Developments, said the company is working to recover its property from HPD.

“We were never informed of the specific violation or reason for their impoundment. Our scooters have been impounded in other cities but we’ve never been in a situation where they’ve been impounded without a specific citation of violation,” Dreiman said.

The city sent Lime a letter last week saying, “it does not allow concessions of this sort on city property without proper authorization.”

However, Lime told us the company did its due diligence and researched before coming to Honolulu.

“We didn’t see anything prohibiting our operations. We didn’t find a permit or approval process that was applicable to our business,” Dreiman said.

We wanted to know what process needed to be followed.

In an email, a city spokesman said the company needs to work with the executive branch of the city.

Lime said it’s trying to do that.

“We’ve done outreach to the mayor’s office before and after our launch but we’ve yet to actually sit down and meet with them,” Dreiman said. “We’re very eager and open to sitting down and speaking with him.”

Despite the back and forth, the scooters are still turning heads in Waikiki.

We’re told the scooters are meant for bike lanes and roads but Lime said ordinances vary by city.

“We have education on our app and on the scooter itself to instruct riders not to ride on the sidewalk because we do envision safety issues there,” Dreiman said.

A city spokesman said there was no serious effort by Lime to have comprehensive discussions with the city administration about the many issues that have arisen.

We asked the city if riders could be cited simply for using the scooters since it’s not considered a legal business.

The spokesman said that will not happen, rather the city just wants Lime to stop renting the scooters out.

Be sure to stay with KHON2 for updates as we continue to follow this story.
 

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