[By Samuel Hardiman]

Lime is leaving Memphis, but the scooter company isn’t sour about it.

The company said Friday that it plans to pull its 450 scooters off the city’s streets starting on Monday and that they would be gone by the end of the week.

Robert Gardner, director of government relations for Lime, said the company failed to gain the foothold it was seeking in the competitive market that is Memphis for a variety of factors.

“As we move into winter, we didn’t have the fleet size to really be able to compete….We’ve had some fairly high labor costs,” said Gardner. He said no one specific factor drove those labor costs.

Scooter companies rely on workers to collect and charge the electric scooters during off-peak times.

He did not attribute leaving the market to geography — the general sprawl of Memphis — or demographics. Lime likes Memphis, he said, and did not rule out a return.

Gardner said Lime is proud of the work it has done in the city.

The City of Memphis declined to comment on Lime’s departure.

Lime was the second scooter company to come to Memphis, following Bird.

Lime initially launched in October without City of Memphis permission and its scooters were pulled from streets. The company relaunched in late November with about 100 scooters and expanded its fleet up to the 450 it has now.

When asked by The Commercial Appeal if not being the first scooter company to market in Memphis had affected its competitive standing, Gardner declined to comment.

~source