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With D.C. pilot program extended, dockless company Lime goes all in on scooters

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That leaves Jump as the only company to provide dockless bike-share bikes in D.C.

Lime scooters in D.C.

Lime is pressing the pedal on scooters and will no longer provide shared bikes in D.C., the Washington Times reports. The transition comes as the District continues its pilot program for dockless bikes and scooters until the end of the year, in the hopes of putting long-term rules for the vehicles in place in 2019.

A spokesman for the San Francisco-based mobility company told the Times that scooters are more widely used than dockless bikes in D.C. He also said the District’s current cap of 400 vehicles per operator—whether scooters or bikes, or both—is “very, very low” given D.C.’s size, and that a new requirement for dockless bikes to have lock capabilities is not “in line” with Lime’s strategy.

A spokeswoman for Lime confirms to Curbed DC that the company will remove its bikes from the city, calling the move a “difficult decision” and adding that Lime is hopeful that District officials will “reconsider the locking requirement.” “While we are thankful that we can continue to offer our scooters in DC, the limited number of vehicles we can provide does not enable us to effectively serve the District,” she says in a statement.

Lime is not the only operator to raise concerns about the District’s limit on the number of dockless vehicles allowed under the pilot program, which officials announced they were extending on Thursday. In a statement yesterday, Uber-owned Jump, which deploys 400 electric bikes in D.C., said it is “working hard to keep up with demand.”

With the departure of Lime’s bikes, Jump is the only dockless company to provide bikes in D.C. Theirs come with pedal-assist and locking technology, so they satisfy the District’s new locking rule. Earlier this month, San Francisco-based Spin also said it would pivot to an all e-scooter fleet in D.C. And in July, China-based operators Ofo and Mobike exited from the city.

From last September—when the pilot program launched—to June, D.C. recorded more than 625,000 rides on dockless vehicles, according to the District Department of Transportation. The agency says it will publish draft dockless regulations for public comment in September.

This post has been updated with additional comment from Lime.