From this Tuesday, the now familiar sight of green Lime scooters will be gone from Auckland streets.
Auckland Council has dumped Lime e-scooters from the city and replaced the San Francisco-based company with new providers. Council director of regulatory services Craig Hobbs said there would be four operators permitted on Auckland streets from this week - Beam, Flamingo, Neuron and Jump.
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Lime and Wave were unsuccessful because the winning bids showed "higher quality strategies around influencing user behaviour to improve safety outcomes and reduce potential nuisance", Hobbs said.
It appears Lime was a victim of its own success. The initial e-scooter provider was wildly popular, very quickly, with 61.3 per cent of Auckland riders using the motorised scooter to commute to and from work, compared to 37 per cent globally.
But with that high use came headline-grabbing reports of accidents, most tragically the death of Toben Hunt, 23, on a Lime scooter in downtown Auckland in September.
Lime e-scooters were also temporarily removed from Auckland's streets in February due to a firmware problem, which caused wheels to lock up, sending people flying over the handlebars.
Claims for ACC e-scooter injuries topped $4.3 million with more than 2000 claims between October 2018 and July 2019. Most claims - 1271 were in Auckland and totalled $1,767,480. The main causes of injuries, according to ACC claims, were loss of balance and injuries to the knee, hand, wrist and arm.
How many of these were Lime and not other operators isn't known but Lime was the dominant brand and bore the brunt of most criticism. Outraged pedestrians deluged newspaper mailbags and social media threads with tales of near misses and pleas for the scooters to be removed from circulation.
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Some of this opprobrium may be appeased by the departure of Lime - but the sidewalk hogs aren't vanquished, with four operators continuing. It's to be hoped they will live up to their safety-tinged overtures to the council.
It's also to be hoped the NZ Transport Agency will come up with new legislation within the next six months to address issues around speed, helmets and where e-scooters can be used.