Welcome to New York! The city’s been waiting…for what feels like forever for rentable electric scooters to arrive.
Tuesday is finally the day when the biggest city in America allows the battery-powered two-wheelers onto roads. Lime, Bird, and Veo are the three operators that received permits for scooter-sharing in a section of the Bronx, the borough above Manhattan.
The three companies will each have 1,000 scooters — making a total of 3,000 — available throughout the East Bronx via their respective apps. Lime will charge $1 to unlock and $0.30 per minute, while Veo will charge $0.39 per minute. Bird will have discounted community pricing available for qualified riders, but regular pricing will be like Veo’s. Lime says its scooters can go a max of 15 mph, but for first-time scooter riders, their first three rides will be capped at 10 mph. The scooters for Veo and Bird will also have the 15-mph speed limit.
Bird announced that the Bronx is the 300th location where you can rent its scooters. The company launches in NYC with its newest scooter, the Bird Three, which has a bigger base and wheels for a more stable ride.
Veo is offering two types of scooters: the Astro VS4 traditional e-scooter, with turn signals and bright lights for night riding, and the seated Cosmo, which lets you sit instead of stand.
Lime is launching in New York with its newest Gen4 scooter, which features a lower, wide base; wheels with better suspension; a more curved handlebar; and more reflective surfaces for better visibility.
It’s the same next-gen scooter that arrived in San Francisco a few weeks ago to start replacing older vehicles in the fleet there.
New York City had been a holdout for scooter rentals over the years as other cities around the world were inundated with the electric devices. The city had barred any motorized micro-vehicles like e-scooters until state legislation changed in 2019. City officials finalized a plan in April with a phased program for this summer.
As part of the Bronx pilot program, riders can’t take the e-scooters outside the Bronx and must park in designated spots. The apps have marked maps to show no-ride and no-parking zones. If the pilot is successful, the number of scooters will double to 6,000 next year in a bigger swath of the Bronx.
But for now, NYC is experiencing its first scooters.