Hundreds more electric scooters will appear on Baltimore city streets beginning this weekend, when Lime drops off a fleet of the dockless vehicles.
The company is deploying 400 rechargeable scooters around the city starting tomorrow, spokeswoman Emma Green said Friday. The company will bring “hundreds of scooters over the next few days” and add more “gradually” thereafter. Lime joins Bird as a partner with the city in a six-month pilot program. Each company is paying the city $15,000 to bring up to 1,000 scooters here, under an agreement approved by Baltimore’s spending board last week. The rate is the same for both services: $1 to unlock a scooter and 15 cents per minute of riding.
Lime is also permitted to bring up to 1,000 regular and electrically assisted bikes to Baltimore.
Bird arrived quietly earlier this year, and announced in June that it had dropped off around 70 of its rechargeable scooters in the Inner Harbor and Fells Point. The company hasn’t responded to an email asking about the current fleet size in Baltimore.
A Lime user must be 18 years old, have a driver’s license and bring a helmet to ride, the company says. The Lime app helps riders track down, unlock an available scooter or bike and officially end the ride. Like Bird, Lime is banking on good faith that each user will “responsibly park” the bike or scooter “by the street curb, or at a bike rack” after a ride, according to a release.
Baltimore joins more than 80 markets around the country with Lime bikes and scooters. The company launched in June of 2017 and surpassed six million rides within a year.
“We are confident that this new partnership with Lime will enhance transportation options to a great many more citizens across our city,” city Transportation Director Michelle Pourciau said in a statement. As part of the deal with the city, both Bird and Lime are required to deploy bikes and scooters in areas where 40 percent of households earn less than $25,000 annually.
The scooters double as potential side hustle for motivated souls willing to round up the scooters, “juice” (or recharge) them overnight and drop them off for riders on city streets bright and early the next day. Just be careful; it can pretty competitive out there for chargers.
This story has been updated.
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