AURORA, Colo. -- Less than a year after the City of Aurora became the first city in the Denver metro area to launch dockless bikes, the companies behind them have left town.
"I've seen young people riding them, old people riding them, all nationalities, all different people riding them," said Heath Barrington Griffin, an Aurora resident.
Aurora planner Brenden Paradies says the companies didn't leave because of any problems in Aurora. In Ofo's case, the company is pulling its bicycles out of cities across the country. The company recently ended its pilot programs in Lone Tree and Golden.
"The whole industry right now is moving so quick, trying to stay up to task with what’s gonna be the new cool thing, what's going to be the new trend in mobility that people are really latching onto," said Paradies.
Lime sent the following statement to Denver7, indicating it may work with Aurora again in the future.
"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. That’s why we have made the difficult decision to remove our pedal bikes from Aurora. We remain hopeful that we will be able to work together with the City of Aurora and the broader Denver metro area to expand access to dock-free mobility across the region soon."
- Mary Caroline Pruitt, Lime Spokeswoman
The City of Aurora is planning to use this time to re-evaluate its bike share program and hopes other companies will bring new mobility options, including electric bikes and scooters.
"For any other operator, whether it be Jump or Razor, whatever other companies that want to enter this market, we’re totally open doors to evaluate that," said Paradies.
Scooters seem to be the trendy way to travel at the moment. The city of Denver has approved permits for five different scooter companies. Uber's electric bikes, called Jump, recently launched in Denver. Lyft will launch bikes by 2019. The company Zagster, meanwhile, is set to bring traditional dockless bikes to Denver.
Despite an earlier than anticipated end for dockless bikes, the City of Aurora earned $17,500 in revenue from the three bike share companies that operated there. That money will be used to make improvements to sidewalks and other bike and pedestrian infrastructure.