Lime, a California-based electric scooter company, announced Monday that it will be ceasing operations in Charlottesville. The decision comes a year after the company’s December 2018 debut in the City and four weeks after Charlottesville City Councilors passed long-term regulations on the scooters.
Finalized during a Dec. 2 Council meeting, the regulations prohibit e-scooter use on sidewalks and on the Downtown Mall, enumerate speed limits, specify appropriate parking spots and prohibit riders from wearing headphones. Violators will be subject to a $50 fine.
The new regulations also require that vendors provide both scooters and bicycles as part of their fleet. According to Brian Wheeler, the City's Director of Communications, Lime is "shifting away from bicycles and does not want to operate them in Charlottesville."
Lime informed the City of this decision Dec. 27.
Charlottesville city officials first approved their Dockless Mobility Pilot Program for e-scooters in November 2018 to determine effective regulations for the products, voting again in June 2019 to run the program through Dec. 18.
Since the scooters’ debut, 30,000 users have made more 200,000 scooter rides with approximately 200,000 miles traveled, according to a report from City staff.
Lime was the first e-scooter company to come to Charlottesville, followed soon after by Bird, which voluntarily withdrew its services from Charlottesville in June 2019. VeoRide — the only e-scooter company remaining in the City — introduced 150 electric scooters and 50 electric bicycles to the City last month.
This is a developing story.
This story has been updated to include input from Charlottesville spokesperson Brian Wheeler.