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E-scooter company Lime packing up to leave Phoenix

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Electric scooter startup Lime will be rolling out of metro Phoenix and 11 other cities where profitability has been a struggle, the company confirmed Thursday.

“While the vast majority of our 120+ markets have adopted micromobility transportation solutions quickly and are profitable, there are select communities throughout the world where micromobility has evolved more slowly,” Lime CEO Brad Bao said in a post on its website.

“For this reason, we have made the difficult decision to close 12 markets across the globe at this time.”

Lime had been participating in Phoenix’s six-month e-scooter pilot program (limited to a specific downtown area) with a fleet of 300 and will be the second dockless scooter group to leave the city.

Competitor Bird pulled out in September.

Lime did not say how many jobs would be affected. Other cities that will lose the scooters were Atlanta, San Diego and San Antonio, Texas; and eight international cities, including Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Lime’s scooters were available in more than 120 cities around the world.

“We are immensely grateful for the partnerships we’ve enjoyed with each one of these cities and the continued support from our riders, and we remain hopeful we can reintroduce Lime back into these communities when the time is right,” the statement read.

Lime has left a Valley city before. Nearly a year ago, the Tempe City Council imposed new fees and regulations to operate scooters there. Lime’s response was to say goodbye.

Phoenix’s pilot program is scheduled to end March 16.

Ashley Patton with the City of Phoenix said they’re working with the only current active vendor, Spin.

“We are currently evaluating whether we should increase the fleet to maybe 900 or maybe somewhere around there,” Patton told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

They’ll open up applications to other vendors in March.

KTAR News 92.3 FM Nailea Leon contributed to this report. 

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