Lime appears to be ending its bike-sharing pilot programs in most of central Ohio.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Lime rents automobiles, bicycles and scooters via a mobile app, which tracks the equipment through GPS.
The business had bicycle pilot programs in Dublin and Worthington and has offered the neon-green bikes and scooters in parts of Columbus, including the Ohio State University campus.
After the Dublin and Worthington six-month trials, which ended in November, Lime removed the bikes with the understanding that the company would evaluate returning them in the spring, said Angela DelBrocco, a spokeswoman for Lime.
But Lime has no plans to redeploy bikes in either location, she said.
Lime also shifted its vehicle fleet in Columbus from bikes to scooters to better meet the community’s preferences, DelBrocco said.
“We remain hopeful we can revisit Worthington and Dublin in the future and are open to finding a long-term partnership tailored to the needs of their citizens,” she said.
When asked why the Lime bikes were removed and if the company had a benchmark for ridership, DelBrocco responded: “There are a number of variables – including weather, regulations, usage, infrastructure availability – that affect demand, but we typically consider ridership of 1.5 to 2 rides per bike a day to be a success.”
Lime recently informed Dublin officials the company would end its bike-share pilot program with the city and remove all bikes there by the end of April because suburban environments don’t fit well with its business model, according to a Feb. 5 memo from Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel to Dublin City Council members.
The pilot program, which began last May, was conducted at no cost to the city, which will use the data to explore other bike-share options, such as CoGo Bike Share, a docked sharing system, said Lindsay Weisenauer, a Dublin public-information officer.
With CoGo, bikes must be returned to their docks after use.
With Lime’s dockless sharing, users don’t have to return vehicles to specific areas. A common criticism of the dockless system is that equipment could be left in public rights of way or on private property.
“While docked stations do require some investment in infrastructure, we may find that it is a system that will better serve the Dublin community,” Weisenauer said.
As of Feb. 11, the Lime pilot program in Dublin had included 4,176 rides, 2,354 riders, a total distance of 4,583 miles and a total time of 124,735 minutes, or nearly 2,079 hours, according to data provided by Weisenauer.
Lime already had removed bikes in Worthington for the winter, said Celia Thornton, a project supervisor for the Worthington Parks and Recreation Department and a staff liaison to the city’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory board.
The city had 150 bikes during the six-month trial, which began in June, she said.
“At this point, the bicycle and pedestrian advisory board will be deciding whether to pursue other bike shares or how to deal with scooters in the future,” Thornton said.
Lime decided not to continue the ride-share program in Worthington because of low ridership during the trial, said Darren Hurley, director of the Worthington Parks and Recreation Department.
He said Lime’s decision was made before the city leaders had finished evaluating what they wanted to do with the ride-share program.
From June through November, the Lime pilot program in Worthington included 1,794 rides, 1,053 riders, a total distance of 2,482.2 miles and a total time of 67,865 minutes, or 1,131 hours, according to statistics supplied by Hurley.
Lime bikes also had been distributed in Columbus’ Clintonville and Linden neighborhoods and areas south of Livingston Avenue and west of Parsons Avenue, said Jeff Ortega, deputy communications director for Columbus.
Columbus never had a formal agreement with Lime for the bike distribution, however, said Debbie Briner, community-relations coordinator for the Columbus Department of Public Service.
Briner said as far as she knows, the bikes are gone, although the scooters remain.
Because Lime pulled its bikes from most parts of the city, Columbus officials are unable to access ridership data, Briner said.
However, one part of Columbus still has Lime bikes: They have not been removed from the Ohio State campus, said Dan Hedman, Ohio State’s director of marketing and communications.
“We are currently under a pilot agreement with Lime for both bikes and scooters,” he said.
ThisWeek reporter Olivia Minnier contributed to this story.