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Lime bikes prove a lemon: Company to stop bike rentals in Boston area to concentrate on e-scooters

Curbed Boston reports the company doesn't see a future in littering area sidewalks (and Boston Harbor) with dockless rental bikes, so will instead work to bulk up its supply of dockless e-scooters.

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They should have called it lemonbikes as the bikes were total junk. Unlike Hubway Bluebikes, the Lime bikes were built with the cheapest parts and always in a state of despair. Often the lock wouldn't open correctly but it would still charge you.

I'm conflicted about turning the bike paths into highways for e-things going 20mph+ but have no love lost for Lime.

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The BlueBikes are so heavy and clunky and as a result, slow, they just don't feel worth it to ride. I would rather walk than ride a BlueBike; I found riding a Lime fairly pleasant, as long as it wasn't broken (which did happen on occasion).

Turns out it doesn't work so well.

When BlueBikes needs to service their fleet, they can find them aggregated in the same place. When Lime needs to do so, they have to go around and find them in random places. Same goes with scooters, but more so: they have to collect, charge and redistribute the fleet on a daily basis. From a fleet management standpoint it just doesn't seem like a reasonable business model.

Something which should be said much more frequently in this business climate (WeWork, Scooters, Uber, etc):

"Just because it's a good user experience doesn't mean it's a viable business model."

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With these distributed fleets, they crowdsource the management to "independent contractors" (read: average Joes) who themselves have forums to figure out how to game the systems to make the most money for the least work.

The company doesn't care how the job gets done, they just want all the e-things collected by X time each night and recharged over night and distributed to the "optimal locations" on a map provided to the gig economy plebs before use the next day.

The company then just assumes that with enough giggers and enough scooters, that they'll all get used/powercycled/reset per day to make money. Maintenance used to be based on giggers too (at least for Bird) but earlier this year they shut that down because the giggers were completely unqualified to do repairs and too many were just getting paid for the repair and not even trying to do the work: https://fortune.com/2019/03/08/bird-scooters-in-house-repairs/

But it still depends on the giggers to collect the broken scooters and bring them to the repair centers (which cuts into collection time and/or charging time) so I have doubts as to how many broken ones every get collected by giggers at this point....which then impacts the number of scooters going through the use/power/reset cycle which impacts the company's bottom line.

But Lime isn't the one going around collecting their bikes/scooters. It's giggers...and my guess is there's zero incentive for them to do so since they can't just take them home but have to actually take them somewhere for repairs.

E-scooters require only occasional air in the tires. It's a better way to get around if you're not on the street.

I'm looking forward to the longer days so I can stop taking the T and get back on my e scooter.

I’d like to try one of those scooters.