Lime Pulling Scooters Out Of Downtown Phoenix

By Christina Estes
Published: Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 5:04pm
Updated: Friday, January 10, 2020 - 10:32am

parked scooters
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Lime is among three companies in the pilot program.

A second electronic scooter company is leaving downtown Phoenix. The news comes just days after Lime requested changes to the city’s pilot program.

In a blog post on the company’s site, Lime said it’s pulling out of Phoenix and 11 other markets including Atlanta, San Diego and San Antonio. The company said its shifted its primary focus to profitability and, “While the vast majority of our 120+ markets have adopted micromobility transportation solutions quickly and are profitable, there are select communities throughout the world where micromobility has evolved more slowly.”

Lime spokesperson Alex Youn said in an email statement to KJZZ: “As part of our path to profitability, Lime has made the difficult decision to exit Arizona and focus our resources on markets that allow us to meet our ambitious goals for 2020. We’re grateful to our team members, riders, Juicers and communities who supported us throughout this journey. We appreciate our partnerships in Arizona and remain hopeful we can reintroduce Lime back into the community when the time is right.”

On Tuesday, a Lime representative told Phoenix leaders it’s seeing fewer rental here than other markets and partly blamed technology that slows or stops scooters when they enter no ride zones and requires scooters be parked in designated areas. When the council approved the pilot program last September, it wanted to avoid scooters cluttering neighborhoods and sidewalks as other cities have experienced.

Shortly after Phoenix launched the pilot program last September, Bird and Lime removed their scooters. While Lime returned, Bird has not. Another company, Spin, remains in business downtown. In a statement to KJZZ, Tim Alborg, a Spin representative said, "We remain committed to serving the city of Phoenix and its residents and visitors. Right now, we're working with city officials to determine how we can meet their transportation needs given Lime's absence."

Phoenix is four months into a six-month pilot program. Staff recently told the city’s transportation and infrastructure subcommittee that many other cities are watching what happens here. The pilot program ends March 16, 2020. The full City Council will decide whether to continue, modify or expand the program.

E-scooters have a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour and cannot be used on sidewalks and must stay between Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street from McDowell to Buckeye roads

Markets where Lime is ending operations:

Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego and San Antonio in the United States; Linz, Austria in Europe; and Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Lima, Puerto Vallarta, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Latin America.

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