Lime is putting $3 million toward electric scooter and bike safety

On the heels of Lime notifying the public about needing to recall some of its scooters due to fire concerns, Lime is putting $3 million toward a new safety initiative called “Respect the Ride.”

The gist of the campaign is to facilitate more responsible riding, while also ensuring Lime provides its riders with a reliable fleet of vehicles. Some of the highlights of the initiative include:

  • Bringing on a head of trust and safety
  • Giving away 25,000 helmets to Lime riders who pledge to ride safely
  • Hosting a summit focused on bike- and scooter-sharing with “key stakeholders and officials” to discuss safety, transportation and policy
  • Developing virtual parking zones and features to alert people if they’re riding on the sidewalk, or improperly parking scooters or bikes
  • Rolling out its third generation scooters, which feature multi-modal breaking, larger wheels and two-sided front wheel suspension
  • Continuing to run daily diagnostics on bikes and scooters and recall scooters that are not up to standard
  • A multimedia ad campaign

“Lime is committed to partnering with policymakers around the world to better support micro-mobility on our roadways,” Lime CEO Toby Sun said in a blog post. “We will continue to work diligently to encourage the construction of more protected bike lanes and infrastructure designed to accommodate and safeguard these new transit options.”

Last week, Lime said it pulled some of its scooters from the streets of Los Angeles, San Diego and Lake Tahoe due to two hardware challenges. In August, Lime says it became aware of a potential issue with some of its Segway Ninebot scooters. Specifically, Lime identified a problem with one of the two batteries in some of its earlier scooter versions.

“In several isolated instances, a manufacturing defect could result in the battery smoldering or, in some cases, catching fire,” Lime wrote on its blog. “We took this issue very seriously. Immediately upon learning of the defect, we worked with Segway Ninebot to create a software program to detect the potentially affected batteries. We then worked independently to create an even more thorough software program to ensure that no potentially faulty scooters remained in circulation. When an affected battery was identified — with a red code — we promptly deactivated the scooter so that no members of the public could ride or charge it.”

Lime says it then removed those scooters from circulation and “at no time were riders or members of the public put at risk.” In total, Lime says less than 0.01 percent of its scooter fleet is affected.

In addition to potential battery failures leading to fire, Lime has experienced issues with scooter manufacturer Okai. Specifically, Lime says it’s received reports that the baseboards can crack or break after repeated abuse.

Currently, Lime works with many scooter manufacturers but won’t name them “for competitive purposes,” a Lime spokesperson told TechCrunch.