NEW RULES: Proposed for scooters in Little Rock. LIME

Little Rock City Attorney Tom Carpenter has written the owner of Lime, which has an agreement to rent electric-powered scooters in the city, to notify the city will end the deal because of dissatisfaction with the company’s response to safety concerns. UPDATE: But the mayor later issued a statement opening the door to a new scooter deal after a call for proposals from all scooter companies.

Carpenter, in a letter copied to the City Board, told the California holding company that owns Lime that a six-month trial begun by former Mayor Mark Stodola would end  May 15 and not be renewed. Nor will the city seek modifications to the existing contract.

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We mentioned earlier that Mayor Frank Scott Jr. had expressed some concerns in response to complaints from residents. He asked Carpenter to write a letter to determine what steps should be taken next. That apparently led to Carpenter’s letter, which cited safety concerns and underage operators.

Carpenter wrote: “The city has been disappointed in Lime’s lack of attention to the safety of its riders and pedestrians. The city truly hopes your company will address these issues and make the use of your electric scooters safer for everyone.”

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Carpenter said he’d been instructed by the mayor to bring an end to the deal. The city is unavoidably bound through May, he said.

Lime had put scooters all over town. They are restricted by city ordinance to use on sidewalks. There’ve been complaints about street operation, about unsafe sidewalk operation and about riders too young to be aboard.

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Here’s Carpenter’s letter.

And here also is the memorandum of understanding with Lime’s owner, Neutron Holdings.

UPDATE: Todd O’Boyle, director of government relations in the Southeast for Lime, sent a prepared statement.

Lime is proud to serve the Little Rock community with an affordable option for transportation. We remain committed to working with the City of Little Rock to renegotiate the terms of our pilot program with our end-goal being to develop a mutually beneficial long-term agreement.

UPDATE II: Stephanie Jackson, a private public relations consultant who’s emerged as a spokesman for the mayor, issued this statement later. She called it a “point of clarification.”

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The City’s MOU with Lime Bike is in effect until May. In the near future, the City will issue an RFQ so that all scooter providers can submit qualifications and we find the best fit for LR residents. Mayor Scott wants to “continue to prioritize the balance of public safety and quality of life.”