Lime’s ridership was up in South Lake Tahoe this summer

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Lake Tahoe’s never-ending tourist season this year helped some businesses cope amid a global pandemic, including Lime and its army of electric scooters.

Although the season was shorter for Lime in South Lake Tahoe, Karla Owunwanne, director of government relations at Lime, says that they were pleasantly surprised to have more people on their electric scooters than a year ago. Ridership increased by 23% from last year. 

Due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 and working with the city, Lime’s season in Tahoe began in July and went through October. Usually the season begins about two months earlier in May. 

Lime saw a major increase of visitors to South Lake Tahoe this summer. Lime dubbed the South Shore as a ‘local tourism leader’ ranking second in the company with most rides taken by domestic tourists. 

Tourists from big cities like Sacramento and San Francisco were some of the top riders in South Lake Tahoe.

“We are really excited for Tahoe,” said Mackenzie Viau, Lime senior operations manager. 

In many places, Lime’s market went down, while in Tahoe it went up due to the surge of tourists this summer. 

Lime’s fleet of scooters in the Tahoe area were reduced by about 10%. The company usually places about 550 scooters on the South Shore, but this summer placed 500. 

Even with increased ridership, complaints went down regarding geofencing and parking but they had one accident where a vehicle struck a rider on a scooter. (https://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/woman-riding-scooter-in-hospital-after-hit-and-run-in-south-lake-tahoe/)

Lime also increased sanitation at warehouses where scooters were sanitized with CDC approved cleaning materials. 

“We are making sure to follow all CDC procedures,” Viau said.

Owunwanne also said that Lime collaborated with a physician to write a paper to share scientific evidence about shared modes of transportation by comparing shared bikes and scooters to ride sharing entities like taxis.

While research showed that open-air transportation wasn’t a major concern, Lime still has recommended practices to further mitigate risks like rider education, riding six feet apart, washing hands and the use of personal protective equipment. 

“Operations in Tahoe have been an absolute pleasure,” Owunwanne said. “Our goal is to keep working with city staff and council moving forward.”