Lime just announced LimePass, a weekly subscription service that waives the unlock fee on renting the company’s electric scooters and bicycles. The company says the subscription is now available in cities across the US, Australia, and New Zealand, and that it plans to offer it in more markets starting in January.
Although Lime says that pricing will vary between markets, a screenshot of the subscription suggests that it will cost $4.99 per week in San Francisco. Lime says its unlock fee tends to be around $1 or €1 per ride, meaning the pass could pay for itself over the course of around five rides. Importantly, the pass only covers the service’s unlock fee, meaning you’ll still have to pay the per-minute charge for your ride.
Subscriptions are fast becoming a way for scooter- and bike-sharing companies to lock in more customers in the hopes of boosting their revenue stream. Surprisingly, no two companies appear to have landed on the same subscription model, which suggests there may be room for even more experimentation in the months ahead.
Earlier this year Bird launched an all-inclusive subscription for $24.99 a month, which gets you one of the company’s scooters delivered to your door and the ability to use it an unlimited amount for a month. However when we tried it out for ourselves we found that the poor quality of Bird’s scooters made the rental scheme a difficult sell, despite its cheap all-inclusive price. Meanwhile Uber, which owns Jump, offers free bike and scooter trips to people who sign up for its Ride Pass subscription service while Lyft’s subscription plan, Lyft Pink, is about $20 a month and includes discounted scooter and bike rides.
As more and more rental companies are springing up in cities around the world, competition for riders is only getting more intense. When multiple rental companies are available in a city, companies have to work hard if they want people to pick their scooters and bikes when they need a ride. A $5 per-week subscription is an easy way of saving a few dollars if you ride scooters a lot, but what’s more important for Lime is that it means you’ll always pick the company’s rideables over its competitors when given a choice.
Update December 17th, 6:35AM ET: Added additional details about Uber and Lyft’s competing subscription services.