Lyft Shifting to Docked E-Scooters

After failing to deliver on promises of frictionless, free shared mobility, the operator will begin docking its scooters at stations to reduce sidewalk obstructions and eliminate the need to collect scooters for recharging.

1 minute read

February 6, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Low close-up shot of black and pink Lyft e-scooters lined up on downtown Los Angeles sidewalk

Matt Gush / Lyft e-scooters

After years of tension with cities, Lyft is planning to dock its fleet of electric scooters, which are frequently blamed for creating sidewalk clutter and obstructing walkways thanks to their ability to be parked anywhere. Sri Taylor and Sarah Holder report on the company’s plan for Bloomberg CityLab.

As Taylor and Holder explain, “The company oversees several municipal bikeshare programs, including New York City’s Citi Bike; according to Techcrunch, it has 100,000 bike docks that could be converted to the scooter-friendly option.” After the company launched a pilot docking program in Chicago last May, Lyft says the city’s shared mobility program, Divvy, saw increased ridership for both bikes and scooters. “It could also make rebalancing fleets easier for operators, help users predictably locate available wheels and facilitate coordination with public transit services.”

Free-floating scooters also must be recharged by taking them back to operations centers. “The company estimates that bringing in-dock power to 20% of a city’s station network can reduce drive-by battery swaps by 90%, and reduce the vehicle miles traveled to do it by 75%.”

Lyft plans to roll out a system of 1,000 next-gen docked scooters in Washington, D.C. this month.

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