Lime scooters are coming back to Atlanta’s streets this summer

Atlanta: Scooting past Forsyth Street on Peachtree Street towards One Atlantic Center, this commuter chose a scooter and umbrella to travel in the rain. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

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Atlanta: Scooting past Forsyth Street on Peachtree Street towards One Atlantic Center, this commuter chose a scooter and umbrella to travel in the rain. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

If you see Lime scooters back on Atlanta’s streets and sidewalks this summer, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you.

The electric mobility company announced Thursday it is bringing 1,500 scooters and 500 e-bikes to Atlanta after initially leaving the market in early 2020. Lime said it received a permit to operate after submitting an application to relaunch in the city.

“We are thrilled to be back in Atlanta and excited to invest in a long-term program that is tailored to meet the city’s ambitious transportation goals,” CJ Shaw, general manager at Lime, said in a statement. For the first time, Atlantans will have access to electric scooters or bikes through the Lime app.

ExploreLime scooters leaving Atlanta, cites ‘significant’ scooter impound fees

Electric scooters, which can be rented by the minute using smartphone apps, first arrived in the city in 2018, instantly becoming a mainstay along sidewalks and popular pedestrian routes like the Beltline. The city initially struggled to regulate the new technology, and concerns over safety arose after four riders in metro Atlanta were struck and killed by automobiles.

Atlanta passed regulations to govern scooter rentals and use, but several companies, including Lime, Lyft and Gotcha, left in 2019 and early 2020, citing the city’s high impound fees and ban on operating the electric devices at night. New companies have emerged since then, and are seeing ridership increase after the scooter program was shut down for several months at the beginning of the pandemic.

Four other scooter companies held permits to operate in Atlanta in June. Under the city’s rules, scooters users cannot ride on sidewalks and cannot rent devices from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

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