As businesses shut down and people are encouraged to stay indoors, there's now one less thing drawing pedestrians to the streets of Portland—two companies with e-scooter fleets in Portland have shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lime and Bird have announced they've suspended operations indefinitely, while Razor is cutting back its fleet. Spin, however, will continue to operate as normal.
The four companies are participating in Portland's second e-scooter pilot program, which was recently extended until the end of the year.
The COVID-19 suspension is likely to have long-term financial impacts on a young industry that has already been struggling to turn a profit. Early this year, Lime laid off about 100 employees and pulled out of 12 markets worldwide. And Portland is hardly the only place that e-scooter companies have been forced to shut down—Lime is suspending service in over 20 countries.
Portland Bureau of Transportation says that, for now, the bike-sharing program Biketown will remain fully operational.
"We are monitoring the situation closely, including guidance coming from federal, state and local public health experts and other officials, and will alter our plans if it is warranted," a spokesperson for the agency told WW. "We recommend that Biketown riders wash or sanitize their hands after riding just as they should when using other public transportation."
PBOT has posted sanitary guidelines for Biketown users here.