Popular Scooters Boot Out Bike Sharing in St. Paul
Easy come, easy go. Electric scooters are making a move in St. Paul, booting out ride sharing bicycles just in time for more seasonable weather. The new company contracting with the city originally planned to offer bikes but abruptly changed its mind, according to the Star Tribune.
St. Paul faces the prospect of a summer without bike sharing after its vendor dropped the service eight months after signing a contract with the city.
In August, St. Paul contracted with Lime to provide dockless bike sharing, and as a result Nice Ride removed its docks at the end of the season. After Lime said it wanted to focus on scooters, officials are now scrambling to find a new vendor.
“I think it will annoy a lot of people” if there’s no bike sharing in St. Paul this year, said Nate Hood, who occasionally used Nice Ride to commute from downtown Minneapolis to his home in St. Paul.
Apparently it’s by popular demand with scooters winning over riders in the marketplace. In fact, St. Paul appears to be part of a trend toward electric scooters over pedal power.
The San Francisco-based startup has also ditched bike sharing in some other cities around the country.
“After listening to customer and community feedback, we determined the best way we can partner with the community is by applying to serve as a scooter provider,” Nico Probst, Lime’s manager of Midwest strategic development, said in a statement to the Star Tribune.
Lime was already supposed to have deployed 500 shared bicycles in St. Paul by the end of March. Now, unless the city finds another option soon, for the first time since 2011 residents and visitors to St. Paul will have to BYOB–Bring Your Own Bike.