In the year since scooter startup Lime launched, people have taken 6 million rides on its trademark dockless scooters and bikes, according the company’s first annual report.
By the end of 2017, the number of US bikes from bike-share companies more than doubled to about 100,000, according to the National Association of Transportation Officials. Forty-four percent of these bikes, it said, were dockless, meaning they could be parked on the edge of a sidewalk or on a local bike rack and get unlocked with a smartphone app.
When coupled with public transportation, bike-sharing costs about 80 percent less than owning a car, according to Lime, which has made it a popular transit option among people in low-income brackets. In Washington, DC, for example, Lime says it has seen a 20 percent increase of rides on dockless vehicles from people who earn less than $35,000 a year, while usage of docked bikes has remained flat.
Even though these e-vehicles might be easy on people’s wallets, they’ve also been a nuisance in some cities, as they’re often left in the middle of sidewalks and even in the San Francisco Bay. The involvement of more established transportation companies like Uber and Lyft could give these electric vehicle startups the structure they need as they arrive in more cities.