- LimeBike rolled out its electric scooters, dubbed Lime-S, in Washington, DC on Monday, marking its first scooter launch on the East Coast. Lime-S was originally launched in San Diego in late February.
- This comes just two weeks after Waybots rolled out its electric scooter service in DC.
- LimeBike also announced it will launch bikes on Georgetown University's campus through an exclusive partnership with the institution.
LimeBike's decision to introduce its new scooter service to DC may not come as much of a surprise, considering the city's reputation as a dockless bike-share hub. In the fall of 2017, DC launched a dockless pilot with five main bike-share competitors — LimeBike, Mobike, Spin, Ofo and electric bike operator Jump — which has arguably been successful in the city, despite complaints of littering.
A potential concern with this launch, however, is how the service will interact with an already-saturated shared mobility market, and how it will affect the success of its competitors — especially Waybots. As Smart Cities Dive reported earlier this month, Lime-S is a definite threat to Waybots due to its lower cost and popularity among city dwellers. Though Waybots is still exploring its options through the pilot program, this newest advancement may cause the startup to rethink its approach in DC.
LimeBike DC General Manager Jason Starr said in a statement the launch of Lime-S will expand "the range of affordable, space-efficient, and environmentally friendly mobility options available to D.C. residents of all eight wards," which aligns with Mayor Muriel Bowser's consistent efforts to launch innovative mobility solutions.
LimeBike's partnership with Georgetown is interesting in that it highlights the potential that shared mobility services can have on college campuses, which are sometimes seen as small-scale smart cities. Companies like Gotcha Group have already gotten a head start in its offerings to collegiate partners, and it's possible that LimeBike's growing interest in the market will cause other competitors to follow its lead.