Lime Beats Birds Back into the Market, But Can't Outrun The Originals
It was just a short three months ago that Bird Scooters descended upon Nashville and then suddenly, quickly and [not so] mysteriously vanished. They’d made quite the impact on Music City, and most people really loved them. Not only did Birds provide an easy, cheap and fun way to get around the city, but they gave riders an excuse to enjoy the outdoors (without the side effects of physical exertion, read: profusely sweating) and — albeit very minorly — reducing carbon emissions.
City officials, however, did not exactly sing their praises. They claimed they were dangerous. They said they impeded pedestrian traffic. . . . And those are really the only two reasons I can recall at this moment in time, but regardless of the bureaucrats’ lack of ammo and rationale, they successfully kicked the Birds out, leaving barely a feather in their wake.
It was a sad day at Broad Varieties and Strategic Hospitality when the birds were abolished, but the good news is, they’re coming back. TOMORROW. Or, so they say. FREE THE BIRDS!
Jordan and I were out on a coffee run this afternoon when we stumbled upon what appeared to be a Bird scooter...dressed up in lime green workout clothing. Praise be!! The dry spell has ceased! The Birds had lost their signature nondescript matte black look, instead opting for a louder, more eccentric costume — perhaps one that would gain more attention, having been dormant for what seemed like a century? It was just one millisecond later that we realized the sad, and disappointing truth: this Bird wasn’t a Bird at all; it was a Lime.
How dare they steal Bird’s idea! Their product! Their business! And their market! I can’t believe they would create a literal carbon copy of what Bird did and slide it into a market where the scooter-sharing pioneers had recently been ousted.
But. In the name of research. We downloaded the app, created an account, forked over our credit card information, and hopped on board.
You know, honestly my first impression this: these scooters came to town right after Bird did ALL of this heavy lifting and Lime just…plopped right in. I’m sure there are here’s and there’s of how it all went down but, as a true Bird fan, that really put a bad taste in my mouth. While the ride itself seemed, in general, faster than Bird’s, I felt less safe on this heavy and clunky scooter! I did like how it told me how many grams of CO2 I saved (620). And the bell. The bell was fun.
Here are our notes:
It’s veeeery familiar - the Lime functioned almost EXACTLY the same as Birds. It requires a similar (but, of course completely separate) app, which is almost an exact replica of Bird’s. You log in the same way, claim your scooter the same way, use the same hand pulls to accelerate and to break, and you can return it the same way, too: wherever you damn well please.
They’re relatively cheap - We rode for 17 minutes, went 1.7miles and only paid $2.55. Not too shabby!
The bell is cute - Limes have a very dainty and very useful bell located on the left handlebar. It’s helpful when in a crowded area and trying to navigate around people...plus it doesn’t sound rude.
Limes are heavy, jerky and not nearly as comfortable - While the Limes did seem to move at a faster rate than the Birds (according to our memory) they did not have nearly as smooth of a ride. We felt every crack in the sidewalk, every minor pellet of gravel, and when we rode over the curb from the sidewalk to the street, my chest tensed up and I felt like my heart was going to collapse. Not to be dramatic or anything. They’re also very difficult to maneuver...they’re super duper heavy.
You gotta pay upfront - Unlike Bird, in which you simply put your credit card on file and wait for them charge you upon the completion of your ride (similar to Lyft, for example) with Lime, riders must choose a dollar amount to load into their account upfront, and then Lime can subtract funds from that account as necessary. So...what happens when you run out of money and you’re in the middle of your ride? That’s a great question, and one I’m not sure I want to have answered. So...what happens if you pay $10 and never use the full $10 throughout your ride(s)? It lives in the app until you do so. Uhg.
IN SUM.....we’re excited for Birds to come back. Excited to reconvene with a smooth ride, feel the wind in our hair, and let our wings spread wide as we continue to fly down the streets. We’re ready for you, Birds!