It's a battle over a business leaving its products in the public right of way. Denver Public Works notified Bird and LimeBike that it wants to develop a pilot program that would allow for the operation of dockless mobility technology in Denver (including but not limited to dockless bicycles and e-scooters) in a way that respects public spaces and meets Denver’s mobility goals.
On Monday (6/18), Lime issued the following statement:
In accordance with the wishes of the Denver Department of Public Works, today Lime will be removing our scooters from Denver for the next two weeks while we work with the City on developing a pilot program for dock-free shared mobility. We apologize to our riders for any inconvenience this may cause. We appreciate the DPW for their efforts, and hope to return to Denver soon. We are eager to continue to serve Denver residents and visitors with Lime as their affordable, sustainable transportation option.
The City of Denver says it's goals are:
· Offering people more options to get around town in ways that meet their day to day needs. · Decreasing the percentage of people taking single-occupancy vehicle trips
· Increasing the percentage of people who take transit by helping them get to and from transit hubs and solving what is known as the first mile, last mile problem.
· Increasing access to smart technologies and mobility services for everyone, including low-income residents and under served neighborhoods
Denver Public Works says it will develop the pilot program through its existing Transit Amenities Program which permits for the placement of amenities at designated bus stop / transit sites. The Public Works department says they will provide a way to apply for the permits by June 29th.
The scooter companies themselves say they can help with those challenges of figuring out how people can get to public transportation.
Lime says 40 percent of Lime rides across the country start or stop at public transit stations, showing that Lime is solving the first and last-mile transportation barrier. They say Denver has the 8th best transit system in the country, yet only about 34 percent of people within the city of Denver live within walking distance from stops where a bus arrives every 15 minutes or less.