The Starkville Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday to approve a partnership with Lime’s bike-share program, allowing citizens to use bicycle transportation through the city limits.
Starkville’s Lime Operations Manager John Usry spoke with the aldermen on Sept. 14 at the board’s work session to propose Lime be expanded into the city. He also spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting.
“Aside from bringing bicycles everywhere, we would want to give the City of Starkville and its citizens access to transportation in a greater sense than just cars and walking,” Usry said.
Through this partnership, the city will not pay anything for this mode of shared transportation. Lime allows students and citizens to easily travel to and from downtown Starkville and Mississippi State University.
Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill said she has already seen students riding these bikes into the city since the debut on campus.
Alderman Ben Carver, of Ward 1, went for a ride on a Limebike over the weekend with his son.
“I used it a couple of times this weekend,” Carver said. “I kind of look at all angles and sides, and I don’t see anything really negative of this.”
Lime will be solely responsible for the bikes’ maintenance and deployment. According to Usry, there are 22 deployment locations to start off within city limits including Main Street, Russel Street and near Midtown.
Spruill said she was eager for the deployment of the bikes following the approval by the board.
“Are they going to be dropped tomorrow?” Spruill asked. “Well, let’s go.”
Lime has placed around 100 bikes around Starkville.
“The mayor’s goal as she communicated to me was to connect the dots between City Hall, the Cotton District, midtown and connecting that to campus,” Usry said. “I know a lot of people go back and forth between there already.”
Carver was questioned by citizens about those taking Lime to their homes, and how Lime would pick up the bikes to re-deploy them each day.
“The questions I have received so far are to more of an extent of, ‘What happens if I drive this home?’” Carver said. “Obviously, you all pick them up, the few that may ride outside the hub or downtown.”
Usry reassured the aldermen safety and respect are their utmost priorities.
“We will never go on someone’s property,” Usry said. “If it is on your front porch, we will come knock on your door and ask permission. We will never cross into your backyard or anything like that.”
Both Carver and Spruill said they are excited about this program. Spruill exhibited particular excitement for the coinciding of S.M.A.R.T. bus routes and Lime stations.
“I think the fact that you can get to where the S.M.A.R.T. bus goes and ride the bike home or wherever, I think it is great," Spruill said. "I just love having that. It is an opportunity to partner with the university and make the city more accessible to everyone.”