New York to Finally Welcome Micro Mobility Services

E-scooters like Lime and Bird will finally be allowed into the state.
Jessica Miley

New York is set to welcome dockless scooters such as Lime and Bird to its roads and streets.

New York has held out legalizing the polarizing technology, but latest reports suggest Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign a bill to legalize the micro mobility services.

The bill will change state law but allow individual cities to decide if ridesharing e-bikes and scooters will be permitted.

Manhattan will still retain its ban on the electric ride-sharing scooters.

Bill pushed through in last session 

The bill is being pushed through before the state's legislative session ends on Wednesday. The governor would have the final say on the bill.

Micromobility services like shared e-bikes and scooters have been contentious, in many of the cities where they have been introduced.

New York has been especially cautious of the services. They have been accused of making roads and streets dangerous, both due to people riding at high speeds as well as when the bikes or scooters are left dumped on the sidewalks.

Startups welcome new law

Both Lime and Bird have been lobbying New York officials for years to allow the services into the city, to no avail. Now, both companies see the latest bill as a step towards victory:

“We are just one step away from better transportation options for New Yorkers and there is momentum to cross the finish line,” said Phil Jones, who runs government relations for Lime.

“New York is on the cusp of making its streets safer and more equitable for everyone — all our legislators have to do is vote yes,” said Director of safety policy and advocacy at Bird.

Investors flock to transport businesses

Users need to download the app connected to the micro mobility service they wish to use. To ‘unlock’ their mode of transport, a smartphone is hovered over a QR code on a scooter or bike.

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Charges are taken from the account holders' credit card. In the US, a Lime scooter costs $1 to unlock , then $0.15 per minute. Prices may vary from city to city.


Micro mobilty is a massively growing global market.

According to McKinsey, stakeholders have invested more than $5.7 billion in the industry since 2015. More than 85 percent of that cash has been injected into China.

Cities love and hate zippy e-scooters

The market has grown two to three times faster than other similar concepts such as ride-sharing and car hailing. Many startups have amassed $1 billion valuation within their first year of operation.

Despite their success, many cities continue to have an uneasy relationship with the scooter systems. The devices which can travel at relatively high speeds are often too fast for bike lanes and too slow for roads.

Users are permitted to leave them almost anywhere which has been proven to drive city citizens insane.

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