While ridership in car-hailing services like Uber and Lyft is down amid the coronavirus pandemic, people are transitioning to potentially safer modes of transportation, according to Wayne Ting, CEO of Lime, the e-bike and e-scooter sharing company.
"Since the end of the shelter-in-place, we relaunched in 80 markets around the world, 20 countries, four continents and we're seeing a huge surge in ridership all around the world," Ting told Cheddar.
With people across the globe avoiding closed and poorly ventilated places, such as the inside of rideshares and subways, Lime has become an obvious alternative to traveling outside of the home or office.
"Scooters are single passenger open-air modes of transportation. It allows you to get where you need to go and it's affordable and sustainable as a significantly lower greenhouse gas footprint than driving a car, for example," he said.
Typically, transportation alternatives like Lime tend to be offered in downtown areas or financial districts, inadvertently cutting off communities in need of more travel options, but according to Ting, the company is closing the gap to make availability more widespread and affordable.
"We've introduced products like Lime Pass, which are a daily pass, weekly pass, or monthly pass that allows you to get a discount on the trip by buying a pass," he explained. "We've also partnered with cities to offer discounts to low-income communities, people who have challenges accessing transportation — especially in this era where people want to be socially distancing."
Lime's commitment to improving local communities even goes beyond making their product more accessible, Ting said, as the company looks to give small businesses a boost by providing local places of interest in its app.
As the coronavirus pandemic forces people to reconsider how to go about their daily lives, Lime is trying to position itself as the premiere "affordable and environmentally friendly" option for everyday transportation.
"We certainly hope that as people exit shelter-in-place, as people exit COVID, what they're doing is that they're not taking a look at buying a car, but instead being open to new modes of transportation like e-scooters and e-bikes," Ting said.