In just one year, U.S. cities have become inundated with dockless neon green bikes and scooters, allowing city dwellers to quickly zip to work or take a ride across town with just a click on a smartphone app. Lime has become a staple for most major metropolitan areas, and has sparked a bike- and scooter-sharing phenomenon that has taken over both the private and public sectors.
With so much news surrounding the company all at once, it's easy to lose track of Lime's growth and development from day to day. Smart Cities Dive has compiled a list of its four most recent developments, dating back to May 1 when the company altered its most recognizable trait: its name.
1. Say bye to 'Bike'
Since the company added dockless scooters to its fleet, it has proven to be more than a "bike" service. Therefore, the company dropped "Bike" from its name and is now simply going by "Lime."
The company referred to the change as "a subtle shift that means big things for the world of smart personal mobility ... Lime is bringing clean, equitable transportation to more communities than ever before, and now, our name is representative of that reality as well."
2. A new Lime-S Segway fleet
When first introduced in 2001, the Segway was dubbed a technological transportation marvel. Yet the brand has long been tied to the image of tourists and mall cops since other mobility services have come to market. Now, the company is getting a fresh start with a new line of Lime-S electric scooters, powered by Segway.
The vehicles clock in at speeds of 18 mph and are "custom designed in-house" to promote safety and durability, according to Lime.
3. Cruising around Honolulu
Lime has added to its growing list of markets by launching a dockless scooter pilot program in Honolulu. The company said in a statement it has worked closely with local leaders to "build local support of this new, innovative mobility option, including working with local businesses and community groups to design our scooter share program so that it best serves Honolulu."
Not everyone agrees. On Monday, shortly after the service launched, the Honolulu Police Department began seizing dozens of electric scooters, which the city says are "not authorized to park on city property." This unsurprising turn of events has previously occurred in other cities where dockless scooters were introduced without proper permits, such as Nashville, TN and Austin, TX.
4. Transit pods: a rumored mobility service of the future?
As the smart cities industry continually looks for the next transportation solution, leaders are buzzing about rumored "transit pods," which may be Lime's newest advancement in urban mobility.
Last week, Bloomberg reported the company is in the early stages of designing and developing such pods, which would be enclosed, electric two-person vehicles that would drive in normal street traffic and could reach approximately 40 mph.
While there are a number of critical questions to ask regarding these pods — Could they seamlessly operate among traditional and driverless vehicles? Who could use the pods? Where would they be parked? — the plans are an indication that Lime is aggressively working to break the mold and differentiate itself from its mobility competitors including Jump, ofo and Bird.