Scoot over, Bird. The electric scooter monopoly is over.
Lime, which dropped electric scooters in Minneapolis late last month, made its St. Paul debut on Tuesday with about 150 scooters. As in Minneapolis, the green-and-white vehicles arrived after Bird Rides Inc. launched a fleet in early July.
"We're really excited to serve and look forward to working with the cities and working with the residents and visitors to make this a great mobility option for everybody," said Gabriel Scheer, Lime's director of strategic development.
Unlike Bird, Lime — formerly known as LimeBike — got permission before placing its scooters around St. Paul. The company has been in contact with both Minneapolis and St. Paul for about a year, Scheer said, and recently launched dockless bikes elsewhere in the metro area.
Under an agreement that all scooter companies must sign before operating in St. Paul, Lime will pay a fee of $1 per day per scooter operated in parks or in the public right of way.
Lisa Hiebert, spokeswoman for the St. Paul public works department, said in an e-mail that she was not aware whether Bird had completed the agreement.
"We do anticipate that Bird will be providing scooters in St. Paul in the near future," she said.
Bird created a hubbub when its scooters appeared in the Twin Cities without warning. The California-based company has done the same in cities from San Francisco to Milwaukee, often frustrating local officials and residents.
About a week after Bird launched in St. Paul, the city ordered the company to remove the vehicles from the public right of way until licensing guidelines could be implemented.
Minneapolis and St. Paul launched pilot licensing programs last week to guide the use of electric scooters. Both cities are requiring companies to remove their scooters by winter.