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Lime Scooters peel out of Providence

Company leaves city after receiving insufficient scooter permits

Lime Scooters pulled out of Providence Friday, marking the third loss in electric ride-sharing transportation options in the city after both Bird scooters and JUMP bikes were removed earlier this summer.

“Lime was offered 250 permits” for scooters in the city and opted not to accept them, wrote Emily Crowell, spokesperson for Mayor Jorge Elorza’s office, in an email to The Herald.

The company launched in Providence last November with 150 scooters in a pilot program and was hoping to expand to 400 this year, according to a Lime spokesperson. Only having permission for 250 scooters did not make it feasible to maintain a presence in Providence, he added.

Unlike Bird, which applied to renew permits but was rejected, Lime left the city voluntarily.

Providence is in communication with two other companies, VeoRide and Spin, to provide electric scooters to Providence, Crowell added.

Providence allotted a total of 600 scooter permits for the city, according to VeoRide spokesperson Andrew Miles. VeoRide and Spin were originally intending to split the remaining 350 permits but, in light of Lime’s exit, VeoRide was asked by city management to provide 300 scooters, he said.

Although there is no official launch date yet, Miles anticipates VeoRide scooters will be available in Providence “sometime around the middle of October.”

A Lime spokesperson added that Lime offered to continue to keep their scooters in Providence during this transitional period, but the city refused.

Providence has had difficulty retaining not just scooter companies but bike-sharing programs as well. JUMP bikes, in a joint decision between the city and parent company Uber, was the first of the three alternative transport companies to leave Providence. JUMP paused its services the city in August after vandalism and misuse, The Herald previously reported.

“Vandalism happens nationwide in micromobility,” Miles said. He added that VeoRide will “work with the city” in the weeks post-launch  to determine how “to mitigate any vandalism that might happen or does happen.”


Clarification: A previous version of this article stated that JUMP had "exited" Providence in August. It is more accurate to say that JUMP has paused its services, as the city intends to continue the program. The article has been updated to reflect that change.

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