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Lime scooters not included as Baltimore City gives dockless permits to three companies

Lime scooters are breaking in half, so they've been recalled
Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 16:54:37-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore City awarded its newest round of Dockless Vehicle Permits to three companies - Bird, Spin and LINK by Superpedestrian.

The company not included is Lime, which shared its disappointment.

“Lime is deeply disappointed with the city’s decision to move forward with its micromobility program without us involved. Lime has a proven track record in Baltimore of going above and beyond the field to prioritize investments in creating an equitable program. Lime has accounted for more trips than any other operator, with over 110,000 total riders taking 690,000 total trips on our safe, affordable, and sustainable electric vehicles. Lime has the stability to make the investments needed to help Baltimore realize its transportation goals, especially on equity and sustainability. We plan to appeal and we hope the Department of Transportation reconsiders its decision,” Lime General Manager Drew Lake said.

RELATED: Lime is under fire over broken scooters

Baltimore City gives green light to dockless scooters; pilot program replaces bike share

Lime scooters were recalled in 2018 because some were breaking.

This is the third round of permits since the e-scooter and e-bike permit program launched in 2019.

“The city’s Dockless Vehicle Program affirms my commitment to providing equitable and accessible transportation options for the residents of Baltimore,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott. “The selection of three dockless vehicle providers will maximize benefits for our residents and empower Baltimoreans to use multimodal transportation options citywide as we continue to integrate creative solutions for improved mobility.”

The Baltimore's Dockless Program was launched in the summer of 2018 as a pilot initiative and has since become an integral part of Baltimore’s transportation infrastructure.

With a dockless vehicle sharing program, electric scooters and bicycles can be conveniently rented for use throughout the city as a fun and sustainable way to travel.

Dockless scooters and bikes are equipped with GPS technology so they can be easily located, rented, and parked through a smart-phone app or text-to-unlock plan. BCDOT has also implemented a parking corral program by designating parking spots for dockless vehicles across the city where riders who use them can receive discounts for courteous parking.

In Baltimore City, an average of 120,000 trips are taken with dockless vehicles each month. More than 5 million trips have been taken with dockless vehicles since late 2018, with many replacing rides which would have been taken in motor vehicles.

RELATED: Birds as new transportation craze in Baltimore

The new dockless permits were issued after annual revisions to the Rules and Regulations were completed and a 30-day public comment period. Previous permit holders were scored for renewal and the remaining permits were awarded through a competitive application process. Applications were scored using a strict rubric to assess how companies meet the needs of Baltimore City for a sustainable, safe and equitable transportation option.

RELATED: Four electric scooter companies awarded city's first dockless vehicle permits

The three companies selected submitted the top scoring applications and each provide unique services:

  • Spin was awarded the first permit renewal for permit compliance and community rankings.  Spin will continue to serve Baltimore City with their e-scooters branded in dark orange.
  • LINK by Superpedestrian will continue to serve Baltimore City with e-scooters, seated e-scooters, and adaptive vehicles for people with special mobility needs.  Their vehicles are branded with fluorescent yellow.
  • Bird will return to Baltimore City with their e-scooters and an expanded fleet of e-bikes.  Bird vehicles are branded in silver and blue.  

“The BCDOT continues its mission of creating alternative and sustainable transportation options for residents throughout the city,” said Baltimore City Department of Transportation Director Steve Sharkey. “The 2022 Dockless Vehicle Program continues to innovate in order to provide a more inclusive and accessible transportation system for all. In the past year, low-income plan users have taken three times as many trips as the average rider. We also debuted new adaptive vehicles for use by residents with special mobility needs. The providers selected have given the best plans to keep this momentum going.”

Under the new operating permit, companies will abide by the revised Rules and Regulations developed by BCDOT and its partners. These regulations affect fleet size, parking requirements, equity zones and distribution, rider education, equity of access, safety and vehicle standards, and data reporting formats. The awarded permits become active on July 1, 2022 and will expire on June 30, 2023, with the possibility of a one-year extension.