Lime’s reign in Dunedin will soon be over, with a rival company confirming it has been appointed the sole e-scooter operator in the city.
The antics prompted safety warnings from police, particularly after a student was seriously injured in a crash with a truck, and city councillor David Benson-Pope urged the council to get ahead of the issue.
“Otherwise we will inevitably be the responsible party who brought this curse down on our beloved residents,” he said.
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Now the company’s reign in Dunedin is over, with rival operator Neuron confirming it will become the sole e-scooter operator in the city after a successful closed tender to the Dunedin City Council.
Lime confirmed it would leave the city at the end of June after deciding not to apply for a new permit, public affairs director Lauren Mentjox said.
“It has been a challenging but rewarding process to build a successful scooter share programme in Dunedin, and residents and visitors will continue to benefit from Lime’s work to change the way people travel in the city,” she said.
Neuron Mobility chief executive Zachary Wang said the company had enjoyed working with the Dunedin City Council “to adapt and integrate our service to best meet the needs of the city”.
“This new permit will allow us to invest more in Dunedin, including the creation of over a dozen new jobs. We thank Dunedin City Council for their continued trust and support.”
The company would expand its fleet to 500 scooters from July 1.
Its e-scooters had a range of safety features including geofencing control, integrated helmets, a 111 emergency button, voice guidance and topple detection.
A Dunedin City Council spokesman said following feedback from operators, the decision was subsequently made to only offer a permit to one operator in Dunedin.
Neuron was the only applicant, but the normal tender process was still followed.
As part of the permit application process, applicants were asked to provide a plan of how they intend to deliver a safe and efficient rental scheme.
A Code of Practice was introduced, including e-scooters being parked in a way that doesn’t obstruct footpaths.