Not told to collect e-scooters at night, Lime juicer says

Lime e-scooter ''juicers'', paid to recharge the batteries of the company's electric scooters in Dunedin, have not been instructed to collect scooters at night, despite the company telling the council it would withdraw the fleet from the streets every evening, a juicer says.

A paragraph in the memorandum of understanding between the Dunedin City Council and Lime says Lime will ''ensure that E-Scooters are removed from public places every evening of operation''.

However, scooter riders have frequently been seen around the streets of Dunedin at night.

At 1.45am on Friday, 26-year-old student Renee Whitehouse was seriously injured when she was hit by a truck on Cumberland St while she was riding a Lime scooter.

A juicer, who did not want to be named, said when the battery on the scooters was below a certain amount, juicers could see the scooters on the app and go and collect them, charge them, and put them back out at designated service spots.

In other cities, media outlets have reported Lime scooter juicers have been told they are allowed to collect all scooters - not just the ones running out of battery - after 9pm.

The Dunedin juicer said he was told that as well, but it was ultimately left to ''individual choice''.

''There is no imperative that it must be done and if no-one chooses to pick up a certain Lime then it stays out.''

A DCC spokeswoman said the council had ''spoken to Lime about removing scooters from public places in the evening, as per the memorandum of understanding''.

The DCC would continue to work with Lime around its operations in the city, but the memorandum was not binding, she said.

The council did not comment when asked specifically by the Otago Daily Times whether it was a concern the scooters were on the streets overnight.

Lime has been contacted for comment regarding both the agreement with the council and the juicer's comments, but did not respond yesterday afternoon.

The juicer said he and others were initially given enough cables to charge four scooters at once, but as they gained more experience they were allowed to charge more at a time.

Juicers generally received between $7 and $10 per scooter they charged and charging the vehicles took three or four hours.

Payment to the juicers was automatic and varied slightly depending on factors such as how difficult the scooter was to collect, he said.

If a scooter was on private property, the procedure was to knock on the door and ask for it.

However, if at any stage the juicers felt unsafe, they were encouraged to leave and mark the scooter as ''missing''.

The scooters found in Balclutha over the last week had probably just been ''harvested'' or charged when they were driven there, which took them off the system temporarily and explained why they could not be seen on the way to the town, he said.


This might explain why we got woken up at 2.20am last night by a group of guys racing an e-scooter up and down our street, talking and laughing loudly, while the bright light of the scooter lit up our bedroom. When asked to stop, they were not interested in co-operating. When I tried to contact Lime today I got a man overseas who had never heard of Dunedin and could hardly hear me. There is no number for Lime in NZ on their website, so all their publicity saying to contact the company if there are problems is a load of the proverbial. They are clearly not complying with the memorandum of understanding with the DCC.

So the "concerned member of the public" need not have been so 'concerned', the scooters were being charged by a "juicer".

Come On DCC start laying down the law as you would with parking and signages..,

"memorandum was not binding, she said." Oh DCC please stop I'm running out if popcorn