The “last mile connectivity solution” has reached the last mile in Atlanta.
Neutron Holdings, Inc. which does business under the name Lime, is withdrawing its scooters from the Atlanta market, among others, the firm announced in a statement Wednesday.
Lime’s withdrawal comes in the name of pursuit of profitability, the firm’s CEO Brad Bao said. “While the vast majority of our 120+ markets have adopted micromobility transportation solutions quickly and are profitable, there are select communities throughout the world where micromobility has evolved more slowly. For this reason, we have made the difficult decision to close 12 markets across the globe at this time.”
I’ve been a relatively close observer of the scooter market since my arm-breaking moment of personal idiocy in 2018. I find it remarkable, given that Lime operates in more than 100 markets worldwide, Atlanta apparently lands among the weaker markets, given early reports that ridership was relatively high here and that the public was among the most supportive of e-scooters anywhere in America.
However, Atlanta issued a temporary ban on new scooter permits in August and banned scooter use after 9 p.m. after a spate of deaths mid-year. I argued loudly that deaths were likely as ridership increased, given a safety record that leads to an emergency room visit approximately once for every 5,000 miles ridden.
Lime’s spokesperson said at an August city council meeting that the company would have been willing to add more scooters to the market here if the permitting process limited competition to three to five operators.
Lime’s operating permit expires January 31. Lime has 2000 scooters in Atlanta, according to city records.