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Transportation Tuesday: Lime bikes

Here's the customer service number to call in case of Lime bike malfunction or breakdown: 1-888-546-3345.

For information on how to access Lime bikes

if you don’t have a smartphone or have

This week's Transportation Tuesday features Doug Bentley, a Cortland County legislator and avid cyclist who has recently made use of the Lime bikes that are spotted around town.

Doug Bentley is many things: A cancer survivor, a former smoker who tries to inspire others to quit, a Cortland County legislator and a cyclist. It is this last part of his identity that drew Doug to the Lime bikes that have been strategically placed around town for less than a month now.

On April 27, Seven Valleys Health Coalition with Homer, Cortland and Cortlandville launched the roll out of Lime bikes, a bike share program that has placed Lime bikes in all three of the municipalities.

On occasion, Doug has chosen the bright green bicycles over his nearly 30-year-old Cignal road bike and he’s had a variety of experiences on the Lime bikes- from very good to the not so good.

Recently Doug marveled at the ease with which an E-bike he rented powered him up the hill on West Court Street – “I stood up on the pedals but it was fairly easy.”

Had he used his own bike, he said, he wouldn’t have been able to get up the hill without really beating himself up.

But on another occasion Doug had to deal with a bike malfunction. While riding on Homer Avenue on the morning of May 9, one of his pedals fell off. The problem was not easily fixed, either, as Doug discovered that he needed a very specific tool to put the pedal back on. The tool is specially designed to fit in a tamper proof pin that holds the pedal’s crank arm onto the bottom bracket of the bike.

The pedal fell off of Doug's Lime bike recently but he was pleased with how Lime resolved the problem.

Luckily for Doug, Blue Collar Automotive on Carroll Street in Cortland, had the tool and he was able to tighten the pedal back on- a fix which lasted him until his last ride of the day, when it started to get loose again.

Doug left the bike locked up, near his home, with a sign warning other riders of the problem. Then, on the Lime app on his phone he left a one-star rating for the trip, with an explanation of his troubles.

But the good news was that Doug discovered Lime bike has good customer service. He got a refund for that trip ($5.20) and three free future unlocks (which cost $1.00 each).

“I thought it was very good service,” he said.

Doug also discovered an amusing fact about Lime bikes-sometimes they talk.

After he had locked the bike up and parked it, he decided to move it a little farther away from his property.

To his dismay, this prompted the bike to call out to him, “Don’t steal me or I’ll have to call the police!”

Doug thinks the community may also be interested in knowing how to ride the bikes if people don’t have a smartphone or access to a computer.

According to Lime, there is an income-eligibility program called Lime Access that offers text-to-ride and Pay-near-me features as well as discounted rides. Cash payment locations are at the CVS on Tompkins Street and the 711 on North Main Street in Cortland and can be utilized by qualifying individuals who have applied with Lime.

Doug thinks seeing more bikes in the community is a good thing.

“It reminds me that I do not need to drive,” he said. “I am prompted to use my bike more often because I see the green ones everywhere.”


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