Raleigh goes green

Many students on their morning commute to school have been noticing a strange phenomenon lately: bright green bicycles sporadically placed throughout downtown Raleigh.

   Contrary to popular opinion, these abandoned bikes are not the result of a zombie apocalypse or alien takeover. They are products of LimeBike, a company based in California that placed 300 bicycles on N.C. State University’s campus this August. Though originally intended for college students’ use, LimeBikes can be used by anyone and have been seen slowly spreading out of N.C. State’s campus and throughout the rest of the Raleigh area.

  “I never rode them before, but I like how cheap they are. I think I definitely would ride one,” junior Makia Dickens said.

  Using a LimeBike is simple. Like many modern conveniences, it can be done using a smartphone. Interested bike riders must simply download the LimeBike app, make an account, then link to a debit or credit card to make a payment of $1 per half hour. When they are finished with their turn, riders may simply drop the bike in any public place for others to use.

  For Broughton students, the potential is endless. Don’t have enough time to walk all the way to Chick-fil-A during lunch? Want to go the the Cameron Village Library after school to study? Hop on a LimeBike. Their comfortable design makes it easy to ride in the city. A large front basket can hold students’ items such as books and backpacks, leaving the arms free to steer. And of course, the bright yellows and greens make a collision with a car less likely.

  LimeBikes have proved an instant success; within a week and a half of their arrival in Raleigh, they accumulated roughly 5000 rides, and now boast over 10,000 registered users. Bike-sharing doesn’t only save time and money; it is also healthy, as all of Raleigh LimeBike users combined have now burned over 400,000 calories using this new system.

  “I love those things. Even though I never use them it gives me hope to see such an innovative and kind idea put into action in my city,” senior Elle Hodges said.

  But this new bike-sharing system has faced its share of challenges as well. In recent weeks, N.C. State students have started leaving LimeBikes in unique, difficult to reach places in a sort of funny contest. The bikes have been found in tree branches, on the roof of Fountain Dining Hall, and at the bottom of the Lake Raleigh dam.

   Still, the company has experienced more success than failure and plans to spread to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill soon. The University of North Carolina Greensboro and North Carolina Central University already have similar programs.

  “I like them. It’s just easy transportation; you can just bike around and leave them anywhere,” freshman Reid Walker.

  So next time you want to go off campus for lunch but don’t have time to walk anywhere, find an abandoned green bike.