Lime launches MaaS platform, forms Wheels partnership

Shared mobility specialist Lime is launching a mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform with last-mile, shared electric mobility company Wheels as its initial partner.

The platform will offer expanded options for riders and Lime said it chose Wheels because of its design and the safety and accessibility benefits it provides. It will build on Lime’s commitment to helping riders rethink their rides as people and cities adjust to the changed world following initial Covid-19 restrictions.

“Wheels’ mission is to ensure that everyone has access to safe micro-mobility options,” said Joshua Viner, CEO of Wheels. “Given that Lime is the largest provider of shared micro-mobility services, we’re excited to partner with it in advancing our mission.”

The new micromobility platform will launch this winter in Austin, Berlin, Miami and Seattle. More providers and markets are expected to follow and Lime said its aim in the future is to be the one-stop-shop for anyone looking to take a car-free trip under five miles.

“People are demanding more shared, electric and affordable transportation options to make short trips around their cities,” said Wayne Ting, CEO of Lime. “We’re excited to launch a platform that offers riders even more options given the vast and growing demand for alternative modes of urban transportation.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Wheels as our first partner on the Lime platform as its accessible, safe, and unique seated vehicle is highly sought-after by riders, already helping shift urban commuter behaviour towards greener transportation and cities toward a more people-first future.”

Trips under five miles account for as much as two-thirds of today’s total passenger miles travelled in the US and the European Union. In the US alone, 300 million car trips under 1.5 miles are taken each day. Micro-mobility offers riders a safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable solution to the congested and polluted status quo.

Wheels’ vehicle design complements Lime’s micro-mobility offerings, filling the gap for trips that are longer than typical scooter and bike rides. Wheels’ devices have a low centre of gravity and 14-inch wheels to help navigate uneven pavement surfaces.

The company, founded by brothers Joshua and Jonathan Viner who are also behind the dog walking app Wag, launched a first-of-its-kind integrated helmet system that offers riders physical access to a shareable helmet with every ride they take. According to Wheels, because of the design, its devices have broad appeal, with half of its riders being women and one-third over the age of 35.

To access a Wheels vehicle, Lime users will be able to open the Lime app and activate it by scanning the QR code on the handlebar, just as they would a Lime scooter or Jump bike. Nearby vehicles will be automatically populated on the map along with pricing information. Wheels vehicles will also continue to be available for use on the Wheels app.

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