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Published December 27th, 2017
LimeBike coming to Lamorinda?
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LimeBike is a relatively new company that launched last January. The company provides rental bicycles in many locations in the U.S., including college campuses and cities. The scheme is different from others because LimeBike doesn't use docks or racks. Customers can locate the bikes with an app that uses GPS technology to show where available bikes are located, and can then take the bike for a rental charge of $1 per half hour, leaving the bike locked at their destination for another user to find and use.
LimeBike is investigating whether its product is suitable for communities such as Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga and Walnut Creek. A LimeBike representative presented its plans to the Orinda City Council on Dec. 19. The obvious appeal to the council is that the city is not required to make any financial contribution to this plan, and there is no need to build or allow special racks for the bikes, which are, predictably, painted a vivid lime green.
Should the company decide to proceed, and the governments of those jurisdictions approve, LimeBike would launch what would probably be a six-month trial period to see how the service fares. Council Member Dean Orr noted that the service could benefit employees who work in or for Orinda who could ride the bikes to and from BART, although that also raised the question of whether bike riding is allowed on the BART connector. LimeBike bikes are being used at the BART stations in South San Francisco, San Bruno and at Fruitvale, along with Caltrain stations and in Alameda.
Mayor Amy Worth inquired about the company's marketing plans, and company representative Sam Dreiman explained that they would use local sources, such as farmers' markets, local police departments, fairs and festivals to try to raise awareness of their product. Also in response to Worth, Dreiman explained that the company utilizes active management throughout the day to reposition the bikes from remote locations to places where demand is expected to be highest.
In response to a question from the public, Dreiman also explained that they provide a "healthy" wage and workers' compensation. Employees start as independent contractors, but eventually become full-time employees. City Attorney Osa Wolff explained that the city would be free from any liability under any future indemnity agreement. Following further talks between LimeBike and neighboring communities, the matter may be brought back to the council at a later date.

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