Interview: 5 Questions With Government Relations Manager of Lime Gihyun Kwon

Lime's success in Korea can be attributed to Government Relations Manager Mr. Gihyun Kwon's leadership as the American brand takes foot in Korea. We asked him his thoughts about the company, safety concerns, and future expansion plans.

Lime’s E-scooters have taken Korea’s sidewalks by storm since its inception into the country last October.

Their successful global expansion has largely been founded on its theory of “think global, act local”.

Central to this theory is building strong local teams and with local employment.

Lime Korea

Lime Korea is a Korean startup, composed of Korean employees, providing e-scooter sharing services to Korean customers. Lime Korea deploys the most advanced e-scooter on the market, providing Korean riders with the premium product in the highly competitive micro-mobility market.

By partnering with local key stakeholders and systematically deploying a fleet of e-scooters that are enabled with multiple GPS touchpoints, Lime hopes to dramatically improve urban mobility by making the first and last mile faster, and healthier for all Koreans.

Lime has tailored its deployment plan to Seoul and Busan so that the company can provide a safe, affordable, and convenient way for people to move around while ensuring other members of the public are able to enjoy the city’s roads and walkways.

It currently serves Gangnam-gu, Seocho-gu, Songpa-gu and Yeouido in Seoul and Suyeong-gu, Yeonje-gu, Nam-gu and Haeundae-gu in Busan with plans to hire about 300 locals.

I caught up with Government Relations Manager Mr. Gihyun Kwon to talk about Lime Korea’s success in the country so far.

Can you tell us about Lime and the scooters themselves?

Established in 2017, Lime is the world leader in micro-mobility. Lime is currently serving in over 120 cities in over 30 countries across 5 continents, including major international cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Paris.

Lime aims to revolutionize urban mobility in cities by empowering residents with a greener, more efficient, and affordable transportation option that also improves urban sustainability. Lime believes that micro-mobility will create a future where cities will open up unexpected ways; where communities are thriving and where people are connected to life.

Lime launched its service in Seoul on October 4, 2019 and expanded its service area to Busan on November 23, 2019.

Lime has invested heavily in fully-integrated in-house designed e-scooters, and launched in Korea with the advanced Generation 3 premium model. Lime’s e-scooter design and specifications are in continual iteration based on user feedback and testing to create the safest and most enjoyable riding experience possible.

The Lime-S Generation 3.0 model is the world’s most advanced electric-kickboard. This model complies with KC-EMC and KC-Safety certification standards and ISO, EN, UN 38.3, and FCC standards.

Lime-S Generation 3.0 model has a range of 40km, a weight of 22.5kg, an integrated two braking system (electric front brake and rear drum brake), front and rear safety lights, and each scooter is equipped with a safety bell.

What are the benefits of riding a Lime scooter and are there any dangers or safety issues?

Lime is transforming how people get around, giving them the freedom to move around their cities in a more sustainable, efficient way. With 40 percent of Lime riders using Lime for their commute to work or school, this report reveals the many ways people are integrating Lime into their daily urban lives.

We encourage all riders to obey all road rules, ride safely and always wear a helmet.

“Lime puts safety first and along with ongoing rider safety training. We are constantly educating our riders on the safest and best practice scooter parking so scooters can be enjoyed by the entire community.”

Who is the average Lime scooter user?

One of the most exciting things about Lime is that our e-scooters are being ridden by all age groups who own a driver’s license. E-scooters help everyone unlock congested cities and serve as the perfect first and last-mile mobility option, but the best bit is that they’re really good fun. Since launching LimePass, we have seen an increase in usage by foreign tourists and more consistently regular use by commuters.

E-scooters have been a controversial topic in some cities around the globe. Recent news reports here also mentioned that scooters here are also causing some headaches for citizens as they are being left in front of building doors or thrown down on sidewalks. Is there any way to educate users on etiquette before it turns into a bigger problem?

Lime puts safety first and along with ongoing rider safety training. We are constantly educating our riders on the safest and best practice scooter parking so scooters can be enjoyed by the entire community.

First Ride is Lime’s safety education program implemented in every market we operate. First Ride provides safety training for the first-time users of e-scooters. On December 6, 2019, Lime Korea held First Ride at Haeundae in Busan. We will continue to hold First Ride programs across Korea to raise Lime’s brand awareness and to create a safe riding culture for e-scooters.

Additionally, Lime Korea has implemented ‘foot patrol’ teams, composed of 3-5 employees who “rebalance” our fleet and promptly address any issues that the community might raise. Any concerns the community does have can be directed to our local rider and community support hotline.

How’s the South Korean market going so far and do you see more expansion coming into other cities around the peninsula?

Our launches in Seoul and Busan have been great successes. We’ve seen huge numbers of  Korean customers download our mobile app and share positive stories of their experience with Lime Gen 3 on blogs and social media channels. We’re incredibly excited about the expansion plans for Lime Korea and the great challenge will be to keep up with the demand for our premium scooter product.

More Reading

Lime Launches LimePass Subscription Service in Korea

Jeff Liebsch
Jeff Liebsch has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Eurobasket, Tribal Football and Yonhap News. He can be followed on Twitter at @chevybusan.

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