Lime pulls scooters out of Tempe, citing liability and cost concerns

TEMPE, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- Lime, a company that offers electric scooter and bicycle rentals in various cities, is pulling out of Tempe, according to a city council member for the East Valley city.

On Monday afternoon, City Council member Kolby Granville posted a screenshot of an e-mail sent by a Lime official to various Tempe city officials on his verified Facebook page.

Click here if you can't see the Facebook post

In the e-mail, the Lime official said the company appreciated the opportunity to work with the city on regulations for shared active transportation vehicles and described the rationale behind their decision to pull scooters out of Tempe in a separate letter attached to the e-mail.

FOX 10 has obtained that letter, and in that letter, Lime officials spoke about the city's Shared Active Transportation Vehicle License. Company officials say while it strongly supports regulation, and has been working with the city over the past several months to adopt the license conditions, there were two critical issues that were not resolved.

In particular, Lime officials say Tempe's liability agreement force operators to take on risks well beyond their control, and outside the scope of its business operation. Also, company officials say Tempe's license, at $386.9 per vehicle, per year, is higher than that of Los Angeles and other cities. The letter also noted that Scottsdale's ordinance requires no fee for operations.

Company officials say they look forward to working with Tempe city officials to move its scooter requirements to something more in line with industry standards.

In his post, Granville addressed some of the problems raised by Lime.

"The goal of regulation, of course, is not to drive the scooters out of the city, but to allow us to mitigate the secondary negative effects they cause. In short, they have to pay some of the costs of the problems they are creating," wrote Granville.

Tempe city officials, meanwhile, say the city believes the insurance, fees, and other requirements are "fair and necessary to ensure the scooter companies operate in a way that ensures community safety and equal access", and officials say revenues from the fee will fund, among other things, improvement of streets and sidewalks, police education and enforcement efforts, and safety outreach messages.

"We will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure we are offering a safe, equitable and sustainable modes of transportation within the city," read a portion of the statement.