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Lime says it handled 6 million rides on electric scooters and bikes

Lime says it handled 6 million rides on electric scooters and bikes


Not bad for a company that’s just one year old

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In the year since scooter startup Lime launched, people have taken 6 million rides on its trademark dockless scooters and bikes, according the company’s first annual report.

By the end of 2017, the number of US bikes from bike-share companies more than doubled to about 100,000, according to the National Association of Transportation Officials. Forty-four percent of these bikes, it said, were dockless, meaning they could be parked on the edge of a sidewalk or on a local bike rack and get unlocked with a smartphone app.

Biking and scootering to work is a lot cheaper than owning a car

Since then, dockless transportation has exploded across the world, and some of the other transportation heavyweights have started to take notice. Earlier this month, Lime announced that it landed $335 million in investments from Uber and Alphabet. Earlier this year, Uber appointed one of its staffers to head a New Modalities division, which specifically focuses on scooters and bikes.

When coupled with public transportation, bike-sharing costs about 80 percent less than owning a car, according to Lime, which has made it a popular transit option among people in low-income brackets. In Washington, DC, for example, Lime says it has seen a 20 percent increase of rides on dockless vehicles from people who earn less than $35,000 a year, while usage of docked bikes has remained flat.

Scooters and bikes might be easy on people’s wallets, but not on their streets

Lime says dockless electric vehicles get people to where they’re going a lot faster than pedaling with a traditional bike, too. Electric scooters will get you there 22 percent faster, while electric-assisted bikes will get you there 21 percent faster, according to the company’s research.

Even though these e-vehicles might be easy on people’s wallets, they’ve also been a nuisance in some cities, as they’re often left in the middle of sidewalks and even in the San Francisco Bay. The involvement of more established transportation companies like Uber and Lyft could give these electric vehicle startups the structure they need as they arrive in more cities.