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Lyft Removing Scooters from Columbus (and Five Other Cities)

Walker Evans Walker Evans Lyft Removing Scooters from Columbus (and Five Other Cities)Photo courtesy of Lyft.
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The first casualty of the Great Scooter Wars of Columbus has officially been declared. Lyft announced yesterday that it would be pulling its eScooter vehicles and service out of Columbus, Nashville, San Antonio, Dallas, Atlanta and Phoenix.

“We’re grateful to our scooter riders in Columbus as well as our partners in Columbus city government,” stated Kaitlyn Carl, Communications Manager with Lyft. “We’re shifting resources and will be ending scooter operations on November 22. We look forward to continuing to provide riders with other modes of reliable transportation.”

Lyft’s cease in local operations comes after just four and a half months of service, having been a late launcher in June 2019. Bird was the first on the scene in July 2018, followed a few weeks later by Lime. Spin launched service in Columbus in June 2019.

When searching for scooters on the Lyft app, the following message pops up:

Starting November 23, 2019, Lyft Scooters will no longer be available in Columbus. Rideshare and CoGo Bikeshare will continue operating as usual. It’s been a great ride — thanks for getting there with us.

According to an article at TechCrunch, this downsizing at Lyft will result in 20 layoffs in addition to 50 layoffs that occurred earlier this year.

Many ride-sharing, ride-hailing and car-sharing services continue to report large financial losses, and have yet to turn a profit. Lyft reported a $463.5 million loss in the third quarter of 2019. Lyft’s CEO Logan Green has stated that the company hope to begin turning a profit by the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, Bird Scooters, which had a $2.3 billion valuation earlier this summer, reported $100 million in losses during the first quarter of 2019. Lime’s losses are projected to top $300 million by the end of the year. Uber, which operates scooter company Jump (but not in the Columbus market), reported $5.2 billion in losses during the second quarter of 2019 and $1.2 billion in losses in the third quarter of 2019.

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