A dockless electric bike program won’t be coming back to Calgary this spring.
In a statement to Global News on Saturday, a Lime spokesperson said that every city is unique, but in Calgary, riders are overwhelmingly using its scooters over bikes.
“In the spring, we plan to return to Calgary with our scooter fleet and will discontinue providing our e-bikes,” the statement read.
The shared e-bike and e-scooter pilot started in October 2018 with Lime deploying 500 electric pedal-assist bikes in Calgary, according to the city. One thousand Lime e-scooters and 500 Bird e-scooters were launched in July 2019.
According to a December 2019 city report, 40,000 people used e-bikes between Oct. 31, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2019, taking 168,000 trips.
But far more chose scooters: 166,000 people took 750,000 trips from July 2019 to Oct. 31, 2019.
‘More economical bang for the buck’
As a Lime bike user, Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said he is unhappy.
“They were a great addition to the mobility options for Calgarians, specifically inner-city Calgarians,” he said. “I’m disappointed that this is the way the marketplace has taken us.”
He called the industry a “bold, new frontier” for micro-mobility in a shared economy. He thinks the scooters are more economical for Lime.
Carra said there needs to be a conversation about what role the municipal government will play to fill holes the private sector can’t fill economically. In the meantime, he hopes that another company will emerge.