|A New York debut for e-scooter sharing|
A pilot program for e-scooter sharing has gone live in the East Bronx — offering New York City's streets for the first time to venture capital-backed scooter companies.
Bird and Lime, two of the startups taking part in the pilot and some of the biggest competitors in the e-scooter marketplace, have raised more than $1.5 billion from investors collectively over the past half-decade, despite being locked out of the largest U.S. market.
"What happens in New York reverberates globally," said Phil Jones, senior government relations director with Lime. "It's an amazing opportunity to serve New Yorkers and show what Lime can be."
E-scooters became legal in New York state last year, and the city this year selected California companies Bird and Lime, as well as the Chicago-based Veo, to operate a scooter-sharing program in the Bronx, which kicked off on Tuesday.
Lime and Bird scooters emerged in U.S. cities throughout 2017 and 2018 — providing a new way to get around, but also raising concerns about safety and how to park the scooters without blocking sidewalks.
While privately owned scooters can roam the five boroughs, scooter-sharing is so far limited to the East Bronx. Lime, Bird and Veo can place up to 3,000 scooters over the next year in a radius that includes Eastchester, Co-op City and Morris Park.
A second phase of the pilot program will launch in 2022, which could include up to 6,000 e-scooters and more neighborhoods in the southern end of the borough.
— Crain's New York Business