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Dock-free bike share company Lime wants to launch in Atlanta

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Permit applications are in the works for Atlanta, Brookhaven’s latest alternate-transportation option

A photo of the dockless Lime Bike system.
Coming soon?
Photos courtesy of Lime Bike

Last week it was motorized scooters. This week it’s perky, fluorescent-green bikes that operate without docks.

The competition for Atlantans who seek alternate means of public transportation could be heating up this summer as Lime, which bills itself as “the leading U.S. smart mobility company,” has filed for a bike-share permit in the city.

The permit application, filed last week, is now under review.

Lime would be Atlanta’s first dockless bike system, and the idea has the backing of some city councilmembers. Additionally, the Brookhaven City Council is expected to vote this week on whether to welcome Lime, per a company rep.

“Atlanta is a dynamic, forward-moving city, where smart mobility makes sense,” said Sidney McLaurin, Lime regional general manager, in a press release. “Lime will give Atlantans a choice for affordable, flexible transportation while alleviating congestion and promoting environmental sustainability.”

Lime stresses that its subsidy-free system comes at no cost to municipalities. It operates in more than 50 cities and college campuses across the U.S., including multiple locations in North Carolina and Florida, plus three European cities, per the company’s website.

Beyond various versions of a standard pedal bike, the company offers electric-assist bikes and deployable electric scooters. No potential pricing details for Atlanta were specified.

In a prepared statement, Atlanta City Councilmember Amir Farokhi added: “I’m thrilled at the increased access to bike mobility Lime will bring to Atlantans who have not had affordable or proximate access to bikeshare ... These bikes will bring our city closer to an equitable transit system.”

If approved, Lime wouldn’t be the only smart-mobility kid on the block.

On Thursday, the Bird system of dockless, electric, lightweight scooters launched in Midtown, downtown, and West End, marking the California-based company’s first foray into the Southeast. Bird trips cost $1 to start each ride, then 15 cents per minute afterwards.

But by far the most ubiquitous system is Relay Bike Share, which launched downtown in 2016. It’s since grown to include more than 500 sky-blue bikes at 60-plus stations spanning from West End to Buckhead’s PATH 400.

Path 400

, Atlanta, GA