Lime will shut down its app-based car-rental service in Seattle by the end of the year to focus on electric mobility, calling the endeavor a “great learning experience” in an email announcement to users.
The company will begin reducing the number of green and white Fiat cars in early October until all 500 vehicles are off the streets by Dec. 31.
No new users will be able to sign up for the program after Oct. 14, the company said. Anyone already registered will be able to drive for the next three months. Credit in current users’ wallets may be applied to rentable bicycles in Seattle and scooters in surrounding cities.
The decision comes two months after ReachNow shuttered its car-rental and ride-hailing service in Seattle and Portland, citing a corporate “realignment.”
Lime would not confirm whether the service was profitable, but it said more than 18,000 Seattle drivers have taken more than 200,000 trips using the LimePod service since its launch last November.
In the Seattle area, which also includes Bellevue and Redmond, riders have taken more than 3 million trips using Lime bicycles, scooters and cars.
Seattle remains one of the last major cities without a fleet of electric scooters, but in May, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that her administration would begin crafting a pilot program that could launch next Spring.
“The information gained during our pilot will support the work necessary should we decide to expand and improve this service” with a partner that could deploy fully electric vehicles, Lime Seattle General Manager Isaac Gross said in a statement sent by email.
The free-floating, app-based car rental company Car2Go continues to operate in the Seattle area.