Google Maps will now be able to offer users directions to the nearest Lime scooter or bike while factoring it into their total travel time. It will also show the estimated cost for using the scooter or bike and forward the user to the Lime app to make the actual booking.
Google will make this integration accessible in 10 cities around the world, with the majority of cities being in the U.S.
However, one city where Lime is facing an uphill battle is San Francisco . When the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) selected Skip and Scoot as the only two electric scooter companies permitted to operate in the city, Lime took to legal action to restrict their deployment. The request for a temporary restraining order against Skip and Scoot was however denied by a judge.
Lime is currently seeking community support to petition the SFMTA and convince the agency to allow Lime to operate its scooters in the city. Other companies such as Spin and Uber’s Jump have also appealed the scooter selection process in the city.
Being integrated into Google Maps will give Lime a real competitive edge in order to penetrate the shared scooter segment around the world. The issue they face with the city of San Francisco is to be expected as cities are taking more proactive participation in permitting new shared mobility services; fearing what happened when ride sharing was first introduced, cities are taking measures to control the expansion of shared scooters. While the intention may not be to stifle Lime’s or any other shared scooter company’s growth, cites still have to take into account the needs and wants of the citizens who may not want scooters laying around everywhere in the city.
Written by Mahdere DW Amanuel, RISE Viktoria.
1. 2018-12-13. Google Maps can now direct you to Lime scooters and bikes