- The Lime brand electric scooter sharing service launched in Montreal this week.
- Though many are excited about the new mode of transportation, others have expressed concern about road safety and behaviour.
- We sent out a writer to get a sense of the scooter service for herself.
A new mode of transportation was made available to Montrealers this week: the electric scooter. We've been writing a lot about the new scooter, and all of the rules surrounding their use, so I was curious to test out the scooter for myself.
As an avid biker, I had my doubts about the new Lime scooter. But, I was recently pleasantly surprised when I tried Uber's JUMP bike, so I thought that maybe this would be a similar experience. So I headed out, bike helmet in hand, as required by law, to find the scooter closest to me.
Initially, I had hoped to go up and down avenue du Parc to really test what the scooter could do both uphill and downhill. Unfortunately, you can only use Lime bikes in certain parts of the city, and the Plateau is still off-limits. So I settled for a trip down one of my favourite routes: the Maisonneuve bike path in the Westmount area.
My journey was off to a rocky start: though clearly identified on the map, the scooter was difficult to find because it was squished between a truck and an SUV, both of which were not allowed to be parked in the Lime scooter's designated spot.
Once I unlocked the scooter and received a few instructions on how to maneuver it, I was off. It was surprisingly easy to use: I was afraid that, because of my lack of balance and accident-prone nature, I would fall flat on my face, but I held my ground.
The scooter cruises at a pretty steady 20 km/h, which is slower than most of the bikes that I encountered. However, it accelerates almost too quickly, and riders must brace themselves whenever they accelerate from a standstill.
The scooters also have zero suspension or shock-absorbency, which can make the ride a little jarring on the Montreal roads. I even ran over a few potholes on purpose to see how the scooter would hold up, and, though it was a little teeth-rattling, the scooters don't go fast enough to flip over.
I rode along the beautiful bike path in the sun without breaking a sweat, passing by a few bemused tourists, who took my photo, and a group of boys wearing fanny packs and Kappa sweats, who asked where and how I had gotten a hold of such a sweet ride (no, they weren't even being sarcastic).
Presumably, the boys thought the scooter looked cool, but I felt less "hypebeast" and more "tourist on a segway."
The scooters are still quite new, but they're already quite popular. I passed by about 5 other scooters on my 20-minute ride. We exhanged silent, knowing nods. None of the other riders were wearing helmets.
All in all, I did enjoy my ride. I got to move along with virtually no effort, which means that I could take in the sights and enjoy the sunshine.
Would I ride it again? My 22 minute ride cost me $6.60, which is significantly more than a BIXI for a shorter ride. However, I got pretty far without breaking a sweat, and though I was wearing pants, I could easily ride while wearing a dress without worrying about my modesty, unlike when I ride bikes.
I think that I would definitely consider these bikes as an alternative to public transit when I'm not dressed to bike, or I don't want to get all hot and sweaty. But it won't be my main mode of transportation.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of MTL Blog.