- Mobility company Lime has released a one-year anniversary status report, noting that this month it reached the 6 million dockless bike and scooter rides mark. The company launched its first dockless bike-share fleet in Greensboro, NC in June 2017 and has since expanded to more than 70 markets in the United States and Europe.
- The company says that U.S. customers who use its bike and scooter sharing services in conjunction with public transit pay 80% less than the cost of car ownership.
- Lime also says it has prevented more than 5.25 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the air.
For only having been in existence a year, Lime and its dockless mobility competitors have had a huge impact on the U.S. transportation landscape.
There have been some growing pains, but that can be expected of a new business. Lime and other dockless providers most notably have encountered regulatory spats with cities and grumbling over customers leaving dockless devices in inappropriate places. But Lime representatives report actively trying to work with city leaders and staff to overcome challenges and develop mutually agreeable bike- and scooter-share programs that benefit the public.
Many critics thought dockless bikes and scooters would be a flash in the pan but they appear to have some staying power. The dockless concept's longevity remains to be seen, but it's proving successful for the time being. Granted, not all operators will survive, as reflected in ofo's decision to leave most of its U.S. markets, but the niche industry does not show imminent signs of collapse in the United States.
Larger companies' partnerships with and investments in dockless operators serve as further proof that the transportation industry is taking the new players seriously. Earlier this month, Uber invested in Lime and entered a partnership in which the dockless provider's scooters are displayed on the Uber app. That comes just three months after Uber acquired dockless electric bike operator Jump. Uber itself had humble beginnings as a startup but quickly grew into one of the two leading ride-hailing companies that revolutionized the way people get around. Its backing could push dockless program operators to the same status.