Lime, the scooter company, is rolling out a new scooter service designed to help health care workers and first responders in the coronavirus pandemic.
Called Lime Aid, it provides free 30-minute rides for public-health personnel and law-enforcement officers, in select cities around the world. That includes Austin and Dallas, plus Baltimore, Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Salt Lake City, but also Paris, Cologne, and Tel Aviv. We're so international.
A release notes that the pandemic has made transportation more difficult, and Lime scooters are the perfect ride if you're trying to social distance.
"Lime is proud to partner with cities to provide scooters as an essential transportation option to reliably get frontline workers and residents where they need to go," says David Spielfogel, Lime’s Chief Policy Officer, in a statement. "We remain committed to the cities we love and serve, and we recognize the critical role of micromobility in serving transportation needs now and as we emerge from this crisis."
Back in mid-March, Lime pulled its scooters out of most cities in deference to lockdown directives, says spokesman Alex Youn.
"We went ahead when COVID-19 started to integrate itself into cities and pulled our scooters out of all our markets — with the exception of Korea — when we started to see a decline in ridership across all cities," Youn says. "And with regards to cities' stay-at-home orders, we wanted to adhere to that, as well. Over the past week, we've started to roll out Lime Aid to bring scooter rides to health care and first responders to get free rides and also for essential needs."
Youn says that the company expects to be an increasingly popular option in the post-COVID-19 world.
"We sense that micro-mobility — bikes, scooters, skateboards — is going to be huge when it comes to the recovery effort," he says. "We're starting to see in places like Korea, which has been ahead of the curve on the coronavirus pandemic, that they're further embracing scooter usage," he says. "Rather than using public transit, they're using a scooter which allows them to be socially distant. Looking at what life looks like before and after COVID, we're starting to see micro-mobility is already the preferred option for many cities around the globe where bikes and scooters are considered an essential service."