But now Google is going even further to help put riders on Lime’s micro-mobility vehicles. Starting today, Google Maps will feature Lime’s electric scooters, e-bikes and pedal bikes as a transportation option in its transit tab.
Google Maps and Lime join forces
Google Maps currently offers a number of transportation alternatives such as buses, subways and ride-sharing. Now the application will go one step further to integrate with Lime’s own network to display nearby vehicles for rent.
Lime’s mobility options are designed to function as last mile vehicles that can help commuters bridge the gap between other forms of transportation.
According to an example provided by Google:
“You just got off your train and you have seven minutes to get to your first meeting on time—but it’ll take you 15 minutes to walk the rest of the way. You don’t have time to walk, your bus is delayed and the next ridesharing vehicle isn’t set to arrive for another 10 minutes. So close, yet so far. Today, we’re teaming up with Lime to help you find a better way to travel these short distances”
Google Maps will incorporate all of Lime’s micro-mobility solutions including electric scooters as well as electric and pedal-only bikes. An estimate of trip time and cost will be displayed in the Google Maps app alongside the various Lime options, along with the time required to walk to a Lime vehicle and your ETA.
Tapping on the Lime option will open the Lime app which shows the exact location of all nearby Lime vehicles. The functionality should work across all iOS and Android devices.
While many companies offer electric scooters rentals, Lime is fairly unique in offering a combination of electric scooters as well as electric and pedal bikes. All of Lime’s scooters and bikes cost $1 to unlock plus a small fee per minute to ride. Pedal bikes cost $0.05/minute while electric bikes cost $0.10/minute and electric scooters cost $0.15/minute.
Google Maps will initially begin incorporating Lime’s electric scooters and bikes in 13 cities around the world. The cities making the cut are:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- San Antonio
- San Jose
Google plans to continue the rollout to more cities in the near future.
This is definitely a win for Lime, and by extension, for commuters. As someone who has used Lime’s scooters and bikes on a number of occasions, I can tell you that their convenience is undeniable. Sure, there are legitimate concerns regarding all of these dockless scooter and bike companies. But you can’t say the options are great for commuters.
All of the electric scooter and micro-mobility companies have been looking for ways to differentiate themselves. Each is grasping for any competitive advantage it can find. Increased exposure via Google Maps integration is surely to help Lime get a leg up on the competition.
And with consumer electric scooters becoming increasingly more affordable, Lime wants to make sure it’s easier than ever for riders to rent their vehicles instead of just buying the latest $270 electric scooter.
For Google’s part, they surely want ensure Lime succeeds and doesn’t end up as one of the bygone electric mobility companies littering the sides of the road to scooter success.
With Bird preparing to rollout their new industrial grade scooter and all day rentals, Lime’s monopoly on Google Maps recommendation can help them remain ever-present in the eyes and credit card statements of urban commuters.