As electric scooter companies continue to battle it out for sidewalk supremacy, more people in more cities around the world are jumping onto the rentable rideables for their very first trip across town.
One outfit that’s made an impact in the space is Lime, which this week announced that it’s now provided 100 million rides globally since it launched its smartphone-based scooter service two years ago. The San Francisco-based company currently operates in around 120 cities in 30 countries.
“This milestone is a testament to the continued growth of the company and overall adoption of escooters,” Lime told Digital Trends by email, adding that it has “doubled the number of rides in just five months after hitting the 50 million rides mark in April.”
For those not in the know, Lime’s scootersharing service lets you unlock a scooter with your smartphone, ride it across town for a small fee, and park it pretty much where you like. Similar services are offered by the likes of Bird, Skip, and Spin.
Part of the grand plan is that such services will help to ease congestion on city streets as more people jump onto a scooter instead of into a car. Indeed, Lime said its riders have reported that approximately one in four of their rides replaces a car trip.
By Lime’s calculation, this means its riders have avoided around 25 million miles of car travel, saved 1.2 million gallons of gas, and prevented 9,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. Fabulous news for the environment, for sure, but the scooter services aren’t without their problems.
For starters, there have been increasing reports of riders and pedestrians ending up in hospital after collisions on city sidewalks. Some riders have even died after falling off their scooter or colliding with a vehicle.
Fearing that officials may step in to tighten regulations if such accidents continue, Lime last year spent $3 million on a safety campaign to encourage its users to ride with greater care and responsibility.
The scooters can also clog up the sidewalk in busy parts of a city, causing another annoyance for residents and visitors as they try to go about their day.
But clearly, rentable scooters are extremely popular for people looking for a quick, convenient, and cheap way to get around town, and the services look set to stay. With that in mind, we wonder how long it’ll be before Lime hits that 200 million milestone.