There will be FOUR companies providing scooter rentals in Minneapolis this summer

The four operators have been selected by the city.
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There will be as many as four scooter rental operators competing for business in Minneapolis this summer.

The City of Minneapolis announced Monday it's reached license agreements with JUMP, Lyft, Spin and Lime to provide dockless rental scooters around the city during the summer season.

Rentable scooters arrived with little warning on the streets last year, courtesy of Lime and Bird, and while Lime is returning for the 2019 season, Bird has been left off the list.

This hasn't gone unnoticed by the company, which Wedge Live reports has been encouraging its users to contact the city to complain that Bird has not been chosen this year.

Nonetheless there will be plenty of options for riders in Minneapolis, with the number of scooters on city streets increasing from the maximum 600 allowed last year to 2,000 this year.

Only 800 of those will be allowed downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods, while at least 600 scooters must be placed in deprived areas of north, northeast and south Minneapolis.

In a statement issued later on Monday, Minneapolis said the reason why Bird wasn't among the final selections was because its responses to "climate, equity, and prosperity goals were below expectations."

But Bird, in its own statement, said it's working to understand how the city came to such a decision.

"With unmatched operational experience, the highest self-imposed safety standards, and unrivaled dedication to sustainability, Bird remains committed to serving both of the Twin Cities.

"The people of Minneapolis deserve the best, and we continue to hear from residents and community organizations that they miss having Bird in town," a spokesperson said.

Scooter popularity

Last year, there were 225,543 scooter rides taken between July and November, with 74,877 unique users.

Most of those users – 95 percent – said that they didn't use the scooters for fun but to reach an actual destination, such as work, school, restaurants or transit stops.

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Minneapolis decided to increase the pilot program as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars, after 42 percent of 1,000 users said they'd reduced their use of personal vehicles or taxis because of the scooters.

For those concerned about safety, the city says there were only 4 crashes involving rentable scooters last year, along with 9 "near-misses."

Scooter riders must follow the same road laws as cyclists: they can't ride on sidewalks and must leave the scooters parked upright out of the way of pedestrians.

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