Lime Long Beach for the pilot of its new vehicle in June and chose its success with an event at Bluff Park this weekend, two years after Long Beach selected it has an operator under the city’s Micro-Mobility Permit Program. Initially, Lime e-scooters.
But on Saturday, Aug. 6, the company demonstrated they have other vehicles as well.
Around 25 guests had the opportunity to ride the seated e-scooters around the city during the celebratory event. Lime has placed 500 Citra vehicles around Long Beach for residents to use, said Lime senior social media manager Janica De Guzman.
It is the first vehicle Lime has designed that features dedicated storage space for carrying groceries, backpacks or other items.
“We needed something that had storage because a lot of riders didn’t have a place to put a bag or takeout food,” De Guzman said. “Really, we just wanted an opportunity for people to have more vehicles to suit different trip needs.”
Citra’s design also emphasizes safety, approachability and ease of use, according to the Lime website — and is aimed at expanding “the popularity of sustainable, human-scale transportation options.”
To ensure safety, each Citra has a visible sticker to remind riders of the rules they must follow before starting a ride. Within the app, which riders must have to use the seated e-scooters, there are safety and training videos. Lime’s social media accounts also provide reminders for people to wear their helmets and to not ride on sidewalks, De Guzman said.
Other safety features have also been added to the vehicle, such as front and rear turn signals, a loud horn, thicker tires and a phone mount for easier navigation.
At the Saturday event, riders received a free helmet and a promo code to cover the cost of the ride for the day.
Before letting folks ride off, Lime had a demonstration on how to use the Citra. Pedal Movement, an organization dedicated to helping cities become sustainable and accessible through bicycles, gave a safety presentation as well, reminding riders to follow the rules of the road as they would when driving a car.
Riders headed up Junipero Avenue to make their way to the final destination, Ballast Point, where Lime provided free beer and other beverages.
“I really liked it, it was super exciting,” said Wendy Uken, 35, a Long Beach resident who rode a Lime vehicle for the first time despite her nerves. “I would definitely recommend other people try it out.”
Other first time riders also said the Citra would make trips around the city more convenient.
“It seems like it would be easier to find parking,” Eva Rodriguez, who rode alongside her husband, Fernando, said in Spanish. “And it’ll definitely save us on gas.”
Besides that perk, Citra also promotes sustainability, De Guzman said, by helping reduce congestion, pollution and carbon emissions. It is also powered by swappable batteries and repaired with reusable parts in hopes of reducing miles traveled to take vehicles back to Lime’s warehouse to be fixed, De Guzman added.
A city concern over e-scooters in the past was that once riders were finished with a ride, they would leave the scooters anywhere, at times blocking sidewalks. That problem, in general, remains.
But Lime has tried to find a solution to the issue, De Guzman said.
“We have designated parking zones; it’s just for (Citra) vehicles and the scooters,” De Guzman said. “Within the app, we have it geofenced, where it won’t end your ride unless you move it to an area where it’s properly parked. We don’t want people to leave them anywhere because it gets in the way of other pedestrians, strollers or wheelchairs.”
For people who want to try Lime’s new Citra vehicle, first download the app. An average ride costs $3.50 for the first five minutes and 44 cents per minute after that.
Editor’s note: The Citra is an electric seated scooter that debuted in June. Because of a reporting error, when Citra debuted and what kind of vehicle it was incorrect in a previous version of this story.