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Scooter Company Fights Shutdown With Emails To City Council

A campaign to keep the new electric scooters that debuted in Charlotte this week isn’t going over well with at least one city council member.  The Charlotte Observer reports Lime, the company behind them, is urging users to email city officials to lobby for the scooters. 

"Our initial deployment on private property with our local business partners is already proving a hit," Lime emailed riders. "Unfortunately, the City has threatened to shut the Lime service down in Charlotte. We need your help! The City needs to hear from you just how important dock-free smart mobility is. It will take less than a minute of your time and could make the difference between whether we have an additional affordable, carbon-free transportation option in Charlotte or not."

City Councilmember Tariq Bokhari said on Facebook, hundreds of template emails are "jamming up" his account.

"Why not tell [your users] the whole story? Like how you didn’t follow the protocol and decided to ask forgiveness rather than permission (like you did in several other cities and have been fined because of)" Bokhari wrote. 

"I was, and still am supportive of getting your very cool scooters back on the streets. But safety is important and warrants a conversation. And one sided, poorly thought out tactics like this make me less willing to go out on a limb and partner when other companies are going through the right channels," Bokhari added.

He indicated that the company Bird has reached out to talk about bringing scooters to Charlotte and that’s he’s looking forward to working through safety and other concerns to advocate for them. 

The city has given Lime until Friday to remove the scooters. 

Lime is the same company behind the bright green dockless bikes. The city has allowed Lime and other companies to each put up to 500 dockless, rental bikes on the street as part of a pilot program.