Electric scooters coming to Lexington; riders should know road rules

There's a new way to get around downtown Lexington! Lime is launching electric scooters. (WKYT)
There's a new way to get around downtown Lexington! Lime is launching electric scooters. (WKYT)(WKYT)
Published: Oct. 21, 2019 at 6:24 PM EDT
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There's a new way to get around downtown Lexington! Lime and Spin is launching electric scooters.

Starting Tuesday, you'll see 360 electric scooters around Lexington. Lime brought the bikes to town Monday, showing them off to potential riders. Spin is expected to bring its e-scooters Lexington soon.

"There's plenty of trips that I'd either ride a bike or do something that this would be totally fun to jump on," Rider Ross Boggess said.

City leaders here approved an ordinance this past summer to try and prevent accidents on the electric rides. Rules include staying off the sidewalks, only riding on the streets, obeying traffic laws and parking in designated areas.

"We want to protect the pedestrians, we also want to protect our riders and everybody else in the city," Lime's Kentucky Operations Manager Adam Bolin said.

The ordinance classifies the e-scooters as non motorized vehicles, so the same rules apply.

"You can still get a DUI on it, however, it doesn't carry the same penalties as driving in a vehicle DUI," said Abe Mashni, an attorney at Baldani Law Group.

Mashni also said that car insurance likely won't cover any type of liability for crashes involving vehicles and e-scooters.

To rent one of these scooters you need to get the company's app on your smartphone. That'll help you find a ride, unlock it and get going.

"We're speed-limited in the city to 15 miles per hour, so they're not going to go any faster than that," Bolin said. "Bicycles will actually move faster than that as well. Luckily for us and for the ridership, Lexington does have a very good infrastructure as far as bike lanes and the bike boxes and those will all be used the same as a scooter."

The scooters will only work inside New Circle Road.

E-scooters will also be introduced to the University of Kentucky's campus.

"We’re working through a process for how we will work with shared mobility companies and will have more to say on that in the near future," said Jay Blanton, University spokesperson. "However, bikes and e-scooters from each approved company are allowed to be ridden onto UK’s campus, provided the company is in good standing with the university.

Students are able to ride on sidewalks, but school officials are asking them to be aware of crowds in between classes when they're getting on and off the e-scooters.

Lexington's ordinance allows for a max of five e-scooter companies to lay down roots in the bluegrass. Lime plans on introducing another 40 scooters to the fleet, making the total 400.