Six months after introducing itself to Mississippi State University and Starkville, Lime is pulling its services from the area.
Lime, a bike-sharing service, just brought Lime-S electric scooters to the city this past month, and added electric-assist bikes on campus. Lime will officially end its services with the city on March 15.
In a letter addressed to Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill on Feb. 19, Lime Strategic Development Director Todd O’Boyle wrote that the contract with the city for bicycles would be terminated due to a shift in the company’s business model.
“We are constantly looking to improve the way our riders move throughout their cities and we’re eager to bring the latest innovations to the communities we serve, but we recognize that every city is different,” the letter stated. “There is no one-size-fits all transportation solution.”
This switch to be more scooter-oriented influenced Lime’s decision to pull all of its services, both scooters and bikes, from the area.
When the city welcomed 25 new scooters this month, the university wished to continue its contract solely with the bicycles.
Earlier this month, MSU Parking and Transit Director Jeremiah Dumas stated to The Reflector the university had no plans to allow scooters at the time.
Dumas stated Friday he could not comment on decisions for outside contracts, but Lime’s decision to pull its services from MSU was because of the evolving business model.
“Per the discussion with Lime, they told us that their business model is evolving and they are removing bikes from markets and only focuses on scooters, therefore the bikes will be removed from campus over the next 30 days,” Dumas said.
Spruill said she believes MSU’s large population plays an important and necessary role in Lime’s market, but she does not accuse the university for Lime’s leaving.
“I am disappointed. I loved the program,” Spruill said. “But I am hopeful that (Lime) will come back in the future.”