The scootersharing business is a highly competitive one, with a slew of companies providing services in multiple cities across the U.S. and beyond.
In that case, we can expect some outfits to fall by the wayside, or to scale back operations in some places, in response to fast-changing market conditions.
Take Lyft. Just over a year after launching its first app-based scootersharing service in Denver, Colorado, the company has revealed its removing its electric two-wheelers from six locations, namely Nashville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; and Columbus, Ohio.
Lyft told TechCrunch the decision is the result of a new plan to “focus on the markets where we can have the biggest impact,” adding, “We’re continuing to invest in growing our bike and scooter business, but will shift resources away from smaller markets and toward bigger opportunities.”
The move will result in around 20 workers losing their place in Lyft’s 400-strong team that oversees its scooter and bike service. Personnel responsible for charging and repositioning the scooters in the affected cities will also be laid off.
However, Lyft will continue to operate its e-scooter service in around 12 locations in the U.S., including Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; San Diego, California; and Washington, D.C.
It’s not the first time that Lyft has restructured its scooter and bike operation. In the spring, it cut its team by around 50 people in a move that came eight months after it acquired Motivate, the largest bikesharing operator in the U.S. with services such as CitiBike in New York City, Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., and Blue Bikes in Boston under its stewardship.
News of Lyft’s decision to ends its scootersharing service in select cities comes just days after the company announced it was returning its electric bikes to the streets of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.
The bikes were removed following two battery fires within days of each other in July 2019. No injuries were reported in either incident. Last week, Lyft said it had partnered with a different battery supplier and planned to deploy 4,000 new electric bikes over the next six months in the Bay Area, building the fleet gradually starting in mid-December.