Calgary will still see e-bikes and e-scooters on city streets this spring despite recent news of a major provider pulling out of 12 international markets, including four US locations.
Lime co-founder and CEO Brad Bao posted a blog outlining the announcement made Jan. 9, where they could pull out of some cities, including Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego and San Antonio in the United States.
“Part of realizing our vision to transform urban mobility is achieving financial independence; that is why we have shifted our primary focus to profitability,” Bao wrote in the blog post.
According to an article on Gizmodo, around 100 people were being laid off.
Bao said these closures reflect cities where “micromobility has evolved more slowly.”
In Calgary, however, Lime, and their counterpart Bird, appear to be enjoying some success. More than 915,000 trips were recorded in Calgary (between bikes and scooters) and more than 150,000 unique visits were logged since the program started in October.
In an e-mail response to LiveWire Calgary asking about potential impact of the recent Lime decision in Calgary, a spokesman said the city can expect e-mobility once again this year.
“Yesterday’s announcement has no impact on Canadian employees at Lime or Lime’s current Canadian operations or planned future expansion efforts in Canada,” wrote Chris Schafer, Sr. Director Strategic Development for Lime’s Canadian operations.
“Business as usual.”
Bylaw changes affect Calgary escooters and ebikes
Late last year, the city approved changes to the city’s traffic bylaw, allowing for a dynamic fleet cap for scooters, based on trip per vehicle. It also came with some new rules, including speed restrictions in geofenced areas and increased fines for reckless driving.
At that Dec. 18 meeting, Schafer told council he supported the “very sensible” changes to regulations and they would work with their staff to implement any pertinent changes.
“I’m quite excited by the pilot,” Schafer said, pointing out that one in three scooter riders was using multi-mode transportation.
One thing he said to council was most people, when opening the app, if there’s not a scooter within 100 metres of their location, they’re less likely to take a trip.
“There’s a lot of trips that could be happening in Calgary that simply aren’t,” Schafer said.
“There’s a bit of a supply and demand being out of whack.”
Schafer then put forth the suggestion of a dynamic cap.
When asked directly in the email Friday if Lime would have more bikes or scooters on Calgary roads, Schafer didn’t respond to that specific question.