Transportation company Lime quietly retired its electric moped sharing program in New York City less than a year after it started.
The company withdrew its vehicles starting in late winter, shifting gears to focus on a pilot with the city to bring electric standup scooters to parts of the Bronx, according to a Lime spokesperson.
“We recently made the decision to wind down our moped program in New York City and focus entirely on the city’s e-scooter pilot program,” Jacob Tugendrajch told amNewYork Metro in an email.
The California-based firm rolled out its green battery-powered bikes to compete with the omnipresent blue mopeds by Brooklyn company Revel in the spring of 2021, with the West Coasters pitching their service as a safer and slightly cheaper alternative.
Lime runs electric bicycles and scooter sharing services around the world, and in April 2021 deployed 100 Vespa-style e-mopeds by the same Chinese manufacturer NIU that Revel uses.
New Yorkers could rent mopeds for 10 cents less per minute than those by Revel, and the company’s leaders claimed that features like helmet sensors would make for safer trips.
Their launch also came after three Revel riders crashed and died on the mopeds in the summer of 2020, causing the New York company to shut down service in the city for a month, before returning with measures aimed at keeping riders safer, including a mandatory multiple-choice test and helmet selfies.
However, Revel had already been in the game for three years and boasted a much larger fleet than Lime, with some 3,000 mopeds spread across parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.
They also served the Bronx until early this year, when Revel pulled the bikes from the borough citing thefts of device parts.
Revel, which debuted its mopeds in Bushwick in 2018, has since expanded to offering electric bike subscriptions, an all-Tesla ridesharing service, and a so-called “superhub” for charging electric cars in Brooklyn’s old Pfizer factory.
“Revel is proud to offer the leading electric mobility service in New York, including mopeds, rideshare and fast charging infrastructure,” said Revel spokesperson Robert Familiar in an email.
Lime has pivoted fully to the city e-scooter scheme launched in the east Bronx in August together with the Department of Transportation and two other private companies, Bird and Veo.
DOT will kick off a second phase of the pilot next month that includes more neighborhoods in the southeast Bronx.
“This first year of the e-scooter pilot has been fantastic and we are all-in on building on that success, focusing on safety, equity and accessibility as ridership heats up with spring weather and we prepare to launch phase two this year,” said Tugendrajch.
The company’s mopeds are still in its possession and they have not sent them to the scrap yard, according to the rep.