It seems like decades ago that scooters first roamed free and wild all over.
It’s really been about a year — it was just in the beginning of 2018 that e-scooters really started to drop into cities around the U.S. Even though some cities have cracked down on its scooter policies (hello, San Francisco and Santa Monica), the motorized vehicles are still here. In some places, you might even say they’re thriving.
A look back on the past year in scooters gives us a hint of where we’re going: more scooters in more places.
Lime’s end-of-the-year report from this week tells a pretty universal scooter story. People are downloading the apps to rent the devices and then taking a lot of rides. Since Lime launched 18 months ago, it’s reached 9 million app downloads.
Its electric vehicles, bikes and scooters, are available in more than 100 cities in five continents. Its most recent additions are in Australia and New Zealand. Breaking it down even more, Lime’s had 26 million rides.
It’s not just standalone scooter apps seeing success, though. Ride-hailing apps took a meaningful leap into scooters and e-bikes this year. Uber’s Jump acquisition lets it offer bicycles and scooters for rent on the app in several U.S. cities, Berlin, and soon even more cities throughout Europe. A partnership with Lime links the app to that company’s scooters.
Lyft scooters launched this year and acquired bike-share company Motivate. Last month Lyft put in $100 million into the bike-share system as part of the deal. Lyft plans on doubling the size of New York’s Citi Bike service area and tripling the number of bikes nationwide in the next five years.
So far Lyft has scooters in six cities: Denver, Santa Monica, Washington, D.C., Arlington, Austin, and Los Angeles. On Thursday morning, Lyft announced scooters coming to two more cities: Nashville and San Diego. Since kicking off in September, Lyft riders have ridden scooters more than 200,000 times.
Then there’s Bird, the company that really spurred the e-scooter trend. In the past year, it’s moved into more cities and last month offered the opportunity to run your own scooter network off their network. Bird is valued at $2 billion and rumored to be in talks with Uber. But who really knows?
One thing’s for certain: The scooters aren’t going anywhere.