Lime tests scooters with seats in Chicago

Electric scooter-rental company Lime is testing out models with seats in Chicago to help boost ridership while giving riders’ legs a rest.

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A new electric scooter with a seat has been introduced by micromobility company Lime.

A new electric scooter with a seat has been introduced by micromobility company Lime.

Provided by Lime

There’s a new way to commute car-free without pedaling a bike or standing on a scooter.

Electric scooter-rental company Lime is testing out models with seats in Chicago to help boost ridership while giving riders’ legs a rest.

Lime has added nearly 150 of the new models over the last few weeks as part of its second-ever pilot of seated scooters, company spokesman Jacob Tugendrajch said.

Lime first piloted the seated models in Nashville, Tennessee, in March. The company chose Chicago for its second pilot “because ridership is booming and our program is based on equity,” Tugendrajch said.

The new models feature below-seat storage, larger wheels and a lower baseboard for accessibility, the company said in a news release.

Seated scooters are not new to Chicago. Lime competitor Spin has offered 50 seated scooters in Chicago since last summer, a company spokesman said.

But most other pilot programs offering seated scooters have not lasted.

Lime piloted seated scooters in Chicago in 2020, but they were limited to a program that delivered the scooters to the homes of riders with disabilities. A similar program — Lime Assist — exists in several other cities but not Chicago.

The company Wheels offered seated scooters in a 2019 pilot, but the company no longer operates here.

The Chicago Department of Transportation requires scooter operators to provide seated options for riders with disabilities.

Lime expects the new pilot to last through the summer and fall, and could make them permanent after that, Tugendrajch said. The company offers around 3,000 scooters total.

Since Lime launched in Chicago in May 2018, nearly 300,000 people have taken over 1.5 million trips on Lime scooters, according to the company.

Lime’s competitor Divvy does not offer a scooter with a seat, but does offer adaptive vehicles through a company program, a company spokesperson said.

Representatives for another scooter competitor, Superpedestrian, did not immediately respond to messages asking if they plan to offer seated models.

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