In 2022 Denver was among the biggest and best cities for micromobility – shared e-scooters and e-bikes – in the world. The Mile High City was a top-5 ridership city in the U.S. for our company, Lime.
With that growth — and the shock of seeing an entirely new mode of transportation, one that’s just a few years old, become a staple on city streets — concerns about safety are bound to pop up.
The Sun wrote about these safety concerns and we at Lime wanted to respond in depth, because the truth is that the success of micromobility here is due to a foundational focus on safety. Safety allows micromobility to succeed.
The city of Denver and the state of Colorado have made it possible for sustainable transportation options to flourish. How? By building safe, protected bike lanes; working with micromobility operators like us at Lime to tweak and improve things on an ongoing basis; and encouraging people to shift to green transportation options by offering policy initiatives like the statewide e-bike rebate.
In Denver this year, 600,000 people have taken more than 2.7 million rides on Lime e-bikes and e-scooters, according to our internal data. It started in the spring when gas prices spiked and people looked for affordable and sustainable ways to get around. Once Coloradans and Denverites found micromobility as a solution to their transportation problems, they never looked back.
Throughout the summer and into the fall, Denverites rode with Lime, whether it was to get to Ball Arena to watch the Avs bring home the Stanley Cup, or to connect with other modes of transportation around Union Station. In 2022, a grand total of 430,000 people took their first Lime ride ever in Denver, and we hope to see that number increase in 2023.
Another reason for continued, skyrocketing growth in ridership in Denver is our work to ensure everyone can afford to ride. We work hard to ensure all residents can use our vehicles via our Lime Access program, which offers heavily discounted prices to all who qualify, which helps micromobility grow equitably.
We also partner with local organizations like Servicios de la Raza to raise awareness and encourage our neighbors to take advantage of Lime Access. In 2022 we saw signups increase by a factor of five – over 435% compared to 2021 – and we plan to build on that success in 2023, too.
Amidst all the incredible stats, the one we are most proud of was that 99.99% of all those rides were completed without incident. Denver is truly getting the best of both worlds right now: booming ridership coupled with a consistently strong safety record, even during record growth.
Growing a new mode of transportation so rapidly is hard work, and we’re grateful to the city of Denver for being the type of partner that allows for people to choose our sustainable transportation options and feel safe doing so. We work together with the city to solve issues before they happen and to find solutions when issues do pop up. We’re investing millions of dollars in hardware and e-scooter and e-bike parking stations, just like the city is investing in bike lanes and safe streets infrastructure. We’ve built dozens of these stations so far and are planning to build hundreds more in the future.
We upgraded our fleet to our new Gen4 e-bike and e-scooter models, which come with dozens of safety improvements and are more sustainable than ever.
Denver’s model of using safety to build a successful micromobility city is fast becoming an example for cities all across the country, and even the world, to follow.
We host tons of in-person safety focused events, including our signature First Ride Academies which give people a chance to get comfortable on an e-scooter or an e-bike in an easy environment with our team there to help them get the hang of riding safely and parking properly. We also communicate regularly with our riders via in-app and email messages as well as through paid marketing campaigns, reminding them to follow the rules of the road and be courteous about parking. In problem areas, we can use technical solutions, like geofencing and speed limits enforced by the vehicles themselves, to build a tailored program that fits the unique needs of every city we serve.
The bottom line is we know the only way for our business to succeed is for micromobility to succeed as an idea; and micrombility will succeed only if riders and pedestrians around the city are safe. That’s why we invest so much of our resources in safety, from hardware to marketing campaigns to physical infrastructure improvements to the time and energy of every employee at Lime.
This work is never done and we will strive to keep improving, but micromobility continues to play a valuable role in Denver’s transportation ecosystem because it is safe, sustainable, and provides an affordable way to get around.
Cody Noblin, of Denver, is Lime’s senior operations manager for Colorado.