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Scooter company sues San Francisco

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Lime accuses SFMTA of showing “bias and favoritism with no transparency”

Green and white Lime scooters parked on the sidewalk. A male pedestrian walks near them. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Electronic scooter rental company Lime, one of three e-scooter purveyors that launched two-wheeled transportation rental devices on city streets earlier this year sans warning, has filed suit against San Francisco.

The company formally filed a temporary restraining order in California State Superior Court today hoping to block the issuance of Monday’s scooter rollout.

“Lime believes that after selecting two other less experienced electric scooter companies and comparatively weaker applications in a process that was riddled with bias, the SFMTA should revisit the decision and employ a fair selection process,” a Lime spokesperson said in a written statement. “Since the SFMTA refuses to pause the start of the pilot, scheduled for this Monday, October 15, Lime believes that it has no choice but to seek emergency relief in the court.”

Lime claims that the city awarded “less experienced” Skip and Scoot permits during the e-scooter pilot program application process in order to admonish Lime, Bird, and Spin (who were first in the scooter craze) for releasing their products in a disruptive fashion.

The three companies unfurled their scooters in San Francisco without giving the city a heads-up. While many residents enjoyed using the scooters—State Sen. Scott Wiener being one of the most ardent public figures supporting the doohickeys—others grew tired of riders using them on sidewalks or abandoning them on busy paths. This prompted the city to impose a temporary ban on the scooter rentals in June.

Lime, who appealed the city’s decision in September, was one of 10 other outfits denied permits.

The company spokesperson adds, “Handpicking winners and losers based on unclear criteria, bias and favoritism with no transparency rarely results in the community’s best interest being served, and this is no exception. Lime believes the SFMTA should consider a more equitable approach to scooter sharing and refrain from excluding well-intentioned operators, or at the minimum, give them a fair chance to serve the community.”