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Lime has stopped service in Lexington, official calls city's regulations 'overly onerous'

Posted at 10:36 AM, Jul 03, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — You won't be seeing hundreds of Lime electric scooters, or e-scooters, in Lexington, at least for now. The company says they have ended their service in the city.

"We unfortunately found that the city's regulations, specifically the requirement that the scooters be rebalanced every 24 hours, were overly onerous and prevented us from running a sustainable business in the city," a Lime official told LEX 18 News.

Rebalancing refers to picking up scooters and moving them to high traffic areas of a particular city.

"After discussions with the city did not yield changes, we made the difficult decision to leave Lexington," the official says. "We never close the door on a return to a city and remain hopeful about changes to the City's regulations."

"The ordinance requires daily rebalancing of the shared mobility vehicles and all shared mobility companies are aware of this when they apply for a license," a city spokeswoman tells LEX 18 News. "They also refused to hire a local operations manager after firing theirs which is also a requirement of the ordinance."

Back in October, hundreds of e-scooters were ready for use in Lexington. Users could download the Lime app and then see locations of scooters on a map. Once users found a scooter and scanned the barcode, the timer starts, and people were free to go anywhere within New Circle Road.

Lime was off to a rocky start, however. One person was hit by a car on a scooter less than a week after the launch. Within two weeks of that crash, Tim Freeman was hit and killed while riding on Richmond Road. Police say he lost control and fell into oncoming traffic.

The company says the service was paused back in March as a result of COVID-19 in nearly every market. Most cities restored service in mid-April but it did not restart in Lexington due to the city regulations, specifically the rebalancing.