Seen in West Seattle: The new carshare, LimePods

You might have seen a car or two like that in West Seattle recently. Don Brubeck sent the top photo from Alki Point today. Brian Presser of TouchTech Systems noticed this one near his business in The Junction last week:

Just in time for the Seattle Squeeze, Period of Maximum Constraint, Viadoom 2, whatever you want to call the upcoming tunnel transition and the transportation turmoil that is feared to follow, the LimePod is a new carshare option, from Lime, the same company that started with those ubiquitous green bikes. So what’s the difference between LimePod and the carshare companies already operating in Seattle, car2go and ReachNow? We contacted Lime to find out. and they connected us with Gabriel Scheer, Lime’s director of strategic development, who happens to live in West Seattle. (In fact, he laughed during our recent phone conversation, the LimePod parked in The Junction recently may have been there because he drove it home.)

LimePod is starting small in Seattle but will add more of its little Fiats in early January. One big difference from the other carshare offerings: If you are a Lime user already – the ubiquitous green bicycles and electric bikes – same app. “It’s a multimodal fleet,” as Scheer put it.

In some other cities, you can also use Lime scooters. Lime would like to add scooters in Seattle but hasn’t gotten city approval … yet. (They even offered to do a pilot just serving the Water Taxi, but that was a no-go, Scheer said.)

Another point of differentiation Scheer mentioned – LimeAccess, with discounts – and potential smartphoneless use – for those who qualify. “We want to serve everyone.”

Scheer says Lime believes that by being multimodal, it can be a major asset during the upcoming transport-pocalypse (etc.). For now, the four-seater LimePods are gas-burning, but next year, Scheer says, Lime is moving toward electric cars.

P.S. The LimePods are so new, they don’t even have their own section on the main Lime website. If you’re yearning for more specifics, this GeekWire story has them.

12 Replies to "Seen in West Seattle: The new carshare, LimePods"

  • miws December 27, 2018 (1:08 pm)

    Is it a mere coincidence that Lime Pods show up just in time for the Seattle Squeeze? ;-) —-Mike

  • WSB December 27, 2018 (1:26 pm)

    Ha! That likely would have factored into a creative start to the story if you had written it instead of me! – TR

  • A-Red December 27, 2018 (2:37 pm)

    Great, now the kids are going to throw Lime cars into Elliott Bay and leave them strewn across the middle of the sidewalk?

  • 98126res December 27, 2018 (3:10 pm)

    We need as many options as possible.  Does anyone know if we Taxpayers subsidize Lime bikes and other visible transportation co’s that have shown up in the past year or two?  Thanks.

    • Matt December 27, 2018 (3:31 pm)

      Subsidize?  No.  As far as I understand, with the bikes anyway, its quite the opposite.  The first year was a trial run, but now they have to pay for each bike they want on the streets as part of a permit.   That’s why the other two companies suddenly vanished and now only Lime is left.  Lime is also responsible for the upkeep.

  • Randolph December 27, 2018 (4:03 pm)

    Soooo, cars nobody is using parked in spaces formerly available to people who were actually doing something with them then leaving, making the space available for the next person?Great. 

    • Steven Lorenza December 28, 2018 (7:04 am)

      That’s a cute narrative, but every study has shown that these cars are used more often and by more people (obviously), while also encouraging car free or car lite living.

  • East Coast Cynic December 27, 2018 (5:45 pm)

    I think the Lime pod will be eye candy for fellow drivers while it’s stranded in traffic on the bridge:?  Then again, a traffic crisis is as good a time as any to provide a colorful SOV option to share and profit from.

  • 1994 December 27, 2018 (8:27 pm)

    They do get special parking: SDOT tells WSB that the newly designated “carshare vehicles only” spaces are for Car2Go/ReachNow/LimePod (more on that new service tomorrow) vehicles, and that this is a permanent change.

  • 22blades December 28, 2018 (5:23 am)

    I see we lost 2 car lengths of parking to “CAR SHARE VEHICLES ONLY” right at the Junction on Alaska and 44th. Great… and we’re fighting for the big lot on the east side of California. Car shares are Single Occupant Vehicles most of the time. The only thing green about them is the money. I hate this…

  • David December 28, 2018 (8:43 am)

    So let me get this straight – a private business gets to use public parking spaces to conduct their for profit business? Where do I sign up to put my business on public property for free?

  • 1994 December 28, 2018 (11:37 pm)

    Car shares are not car free living.  Car free living would be not using a car – period.  

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