Despite the huge demand in Everett for the LimeBike dockless bike rental service, the company announced this week it wouldn’t be renewing its contract with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) – the regional planning agency that helped to propagate the service in Everett and many other surrounding communities.
MAPC said LimeBike communicated with them that they wouldn’t be extending the bike share contract, something the agency said it had sensed for several months.
“Lime has served the metro-Boston area with a No Cost Regional Bike Sharing System since April 2018 and, after much analysis and internal discussion of the past riding season, we have made the tough call not to renew our regional contract for 2020,” read a letter from the company to MAPC. “When Lime launched we were excited to partner on an innovative approach to mobility for metro-Boston residents. Our traditional bike and electric pedal-assist fleets were provided at no cost to municipalities, while remaining affordable to users. The program enjoyed high ridership and delivered a new mode of shared transportation to tens of thousands of riders outside of the downtown core, helping them ease commutes and find more efficient and fun ways to get around.”
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said that LimeBike had provided more than 50,000 rides to 7,000 people in the last two years, and he was sad to see it go.
“We are thankful for the relationship we have had with Lime for the past two years with over 7,000 Everett residents taking over 50,000 rides in and around the City,” he said. “While we’re disappointed by Lime’s departure, the City of Everett will continue to support cycling and shared mobility through the Blue Bikes system, which launched last spring and through continued efforts to build safer streets for cycling and walking.”
Unlike many other communities, Everett also has a docked bike share system with BlueBikes, so the city is not left without an option for its residents to rent bikes. Many other communities do not have a second option, and Everett was the only community in the region that used both systems, LimeBike and BlueBike.
MAPC said it would be in talks with municipalities in the coming months about the future of bike sharing in their communities.
LimeBike said after looking at ridership numbers from the past year, they decided to pursue the electric scooter market instead of bikes.
“Lime remains fully committed to innovative mobility options and we are currently working with state leaders on Beacon Hill to legalize electric scooters,” read the letter from LimeBike. “Over the past year, Lime has focused on launching and growing our scooter fleets in the U.S., which have been very popular in cities across the globe. Our recent scooter pilot in Brookline proved that the same excitement exists here.”
Any Lime user with remaining funds in their Lime account can use that balance in any other active Lime market, or receive a refund by request through the company’s customer support channels.