LimeBike says it’s bikeless in Aurora because they needed permits in Denver

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AURORA | Bike share company LimeBike blames permitting difficulties outside of Aurora for its decision to pull its rental bikes off the streets in Aurora this month.

“The Aurora pilot program, as it was, only allowed Lime to serve a small portion of the Denver metro area, ultimately impeding Lime’s core mission of providing transportation equity,” said LimeBike spokeswoman Mary Caroline Pruitt in a statement.

“That’s why we have made the difficult decision to remove our pedal bikes from Aurora,” she said.

Pruitt did not address the status of LimeBike’s electric scooter program that is popular in downtown Denver.

Denver Public Works spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn said LimeBike did not apply to operate its dockless bikes in Denver, but the company’s popular electric scooters are still permitted. Competitor Ofo, which is also pulling dockless bikes from Aurora, initially applied for a dockless bike permit in Denver but withdrew its application in July, according to Kuhn.

In Aurora, city government may move to approve electric scooter companies like LimeBike operating in the city limits, although no vendor has approached the city, said Aurora Senior Transportation Planner Tom Worker-Braddock.

“We look forward to partnering with the city of Aurora on next steps,” Pruitt said.

Both LimeBike and Ofo have pulled out of the city’s bike share program, which allowed the companies to place hundreds of dockless bikes around the city. Residents could download an app, locate nearby bikes, and then leave them virtually anywhere.

Worker-Braddock said that Ofo and Limebike permits only applied to city boundaries.

It is not clear whether another bike sharing company will be approved in the city’s program. Competitor JUMP Bike, owned by ride-sharing giant Uber, said the company is not immediately planning to enter the Aurora market.