Lime is returning to the Columbus market today, deploying about a hundred of its rentable electric scooters around several central city neighborhoods.
Crew Cypher, Midwest General Manager for Lime, said that more scooters could be added in the future, depending on demand. The deployment comes along with a new policy that will offer free 30-minute rides for workers in the health care, public safety and law enforcement sectors.
“The goal is to help workers who might otherwise have difficulty, either because they don’t want to take public transit or rideshare,” said Cypher. “Scooters offer a socially isolating way of traveling and can help alleviate concerns over traveling in proximity to others.”
Columbus is one of 14 markets worldwide in which Lime is rolling out the free ride program.
The company joined fellow scooter startups Bird and Spin in pulling its fleet from the city’s sidewalks and streets in mid-March, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. CoGo, the city-supported bike share network, has continued to operate.
The new wave of Lime scooters are being placed mostly in the University District, Franklinton and the Short North neighborhoods, Cypher said, although some will also be deployed around Grant Medical Center and several other hospitals.
As part of the relaunch of service, Lime is also instituting a stepped-up cleaning regimen for all of its warehouses and offices, as well as for the scooters themselves.
A press release stated that the company will be “cleaning all parts of the scooter that are touched by people and we are only using products recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the Center for Biocide Chemistries list that have been approved by the EPA for use against the coronavirus.”