Lime pauses scooter operations in select markets amid COVID-19

Lime is pausing its electric scooter operations in California and Washington, as well as throughout the countries of Italy, France and Spain to help keep riders safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Like you, we are worried about the cities we love and call home, the people we serve, and our colleagues on the ground," Lime wrote in a blog post today. "Loving cities means protecting them too. For now, we're pausing Lime service to help people stay put and stay safe."

The announcement came a day after San Francisco ordered residents to shelter in place, and shortly before New York City told residents to prepare for a shelter-in-place order. Lime will continue operating in other markets but says it has enhanced its cleaning and disinfecting methods.

Spin, on the other hand, is choosing not to suspend its service in San Francisco, unless the city explicitly asks it to. That's because it imagines the public transportation system will need support as people are taking essential trips to places like the grocery store or pharmacy.

"During this challenging time in our nation and in light of the CDC’s guidance to avoid public transportation to limit exposure to COVID-19, we believe that Spin scooters can be another safe and reliable option," Spin CEO Derrick Ko said in a statement. "To the extent that it is safe for our employees, we plan to work with the City to determine how best we can support the City’s desire and needs for continued safe operations of essential transportation, from rides to grocery stores and pharmacies to medical care and testing facilities."

In a letter to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency yesterday, Ko outlined how Spin is ready and able to work to support healthcare workers, sanitation workers and other workers who may benefit from its scooters. Currently, Spin is more frequently disinfecting scooters and also encouraging riders to disinfect the handlebars before and after their ride. As for Lime, it says it will keep riders in the loop regarding when it will redeploy its scooters.