Lime Scooters Will Temporarily Leave Kansas City Streets
After operating in Kansas City for the past three months, Lime plans on removing its scooters from the area for the next few weeks.
In an email to Kansas City, Missouri, city officials on Tuesday, the electric scooter company announced it will temporarily suspend its service, citing winter weather conditions in December and January. The company also said it plans to analyze its operations and progress in Kansas City before returning in the spring.
Lime will continue working with the city as it develops a formal pilot program that would outline a data collection system and dictate how companies like Lime operate within Kansas City. City officials hope to launch the program this coming March.
“They plan to come back to answer the city’s request for proposals in connection with other scooter services that we’re putting out in the spring to be a presence in Kansas City there and after,” said Councilman Quinton Lucas.
In addition to Lime, electric scooter company Bird has been operating in Kansas City since the summer. At the beginning of the month, Drop Mobility arrived in the city to introduce its electric-powered bikes.
Lime, Bird and Drop are currently working under an interim operating agreement with the city. One purpose of the proposed pilot program is to collect data on how the vehicles are used around Kansas City and better meet residents’ needs. The city council has also approved a measure allocating revenue from dockless scooters to fund affordable housing.
Lucas said the city also wants to ensure that the scooters are fairly distributed throughout the area.
“We all want to work together and make sure that the vehicles are safely operated, to make sure that we don’t have necessarily too many vehicles and too many vehicles in one part of the city,” he said.
Since its initial scooter roll out in September, Lime has recorded about 100,000 rides, with more than 30,000 people using the app.
“The future of the system and dock-free mobility in Kansas City is bright and we're excited to remain part of the community for years to come,” the company's email read.
However, Lime has dealt with problems since its arrival — in November the company announced it would be removing a particular scooter model because of concerns they could break apart.
Celisa Calacal is an intern at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her at @celisa_mia.