Dozens of neon green bikes descended on Edina's commercial district Saturday, marking the city's first venture into dockless two-wheeled transportation.
The LimeBike pilot program offers $1 rides — paid for through a smartphone app — and allows cyclists to park anywhere.
Edina and Golden Valley signed an agreement with the Bay Area-based company to test the rentals last spring, but equipment delivery was delayed by several months. The first shipment of bikes arrived in Edina on Saturday. The bikes were scattered around the 50th & France and Southdale areas.
To unlock the bikes, riders must download the Lime app. The program will automatically locate the GPS-equipped bikes and scooters nearby. Customers are charged a flat fee of $1 to unlock the bike and an additional $1 for every 30 minutes after that.
When the ride is over, the app provides information about the distance traveled, calories burned and emissions saved.
Eric Kocaja, Lime general manager, said he was proud to bring a "sustainable mobility option to the community."
Several other companies are zeroing in on the Twin Cities this summer to get in on the dockless market.
Bird Rides Inc. dropped its popular scooters in Minneapolis and St. Paul without official permission earlier this month. Nice Ride Minnesota will introduce its dockless bikes before the fall. And St. Paul may soon get its own fleet of dockless bikes, with LimeBike being one of the potential suitors.
Meanwhile, LimeBike has continued to grow around the country and is courting contracts in west metro suburbs including St. Louis Park, Robbinsdale, New Hope and Crystal.
LimeBike's agreements with Golden Valley and Edina expire at the end of the year.
Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648