Local News

Gotcha: As Bird and Lime scooters leave Raleigh, a new e-ride company is in town

Posted July 30, 2019 7:06 a.m. EDT
Updated July 30, 2019 7:20 a.m. EDT

— The City of Raleigh will end its contract with two ride-sharing companies, Bird and Lime, this week. But city leaders say Gotcha, a new Charleston-based competitor, will soon fill the void.

On Thursday, only Citrix bikes will remain in Raleigh as pay-to-ride rentals. By then, any Bird or Lime scooters left behind will be collected by the city.

Some scooter fans, like Austin Cole, think it's a wise decision, as too many riders ignored rules and caused problems.

"I like the Birds," Cole said. "They work great. It just makes my commute easier and faster."

However, according to Cole, some people "ride them with no respect and they just cut in and out of traffic with them."

Lime scooters will continue a separate agreement with North Carolina State University, but Raleigh leaders have a new deal with a company called Gotcha.

Sean Flood, CEO of Gotcha, said his company always works with a city contract in place.

"For us, it's a really ideal market," he said in a phone interview with WRAL News. "We don't just deploy assets and then just kind of ask for forgiveness. That allows us to make sure that we're both on the same page, that our interests are aligned."

Like Bird and Lime scooters, Gotcha riders will need to download an app to use the scooters. Also like their competitors, it will cost $1 to ride, plus 15-cents per mile.

A problem with e-scooters and bikes in many cities is when riders leave them lying around. Flood has a plan to address that issue.

"We're trying to centralize on people returning to these mobility hubs in kind of designated areas and incentivize them to do that instead of just leaving them around the community," Flood said, adding that he believes following the rules will keep ride-sharing alive.

According to Flood, Gotcha has not nailed down a start date yet with the city. He said their fleet will begin small and grow with e-scooters, pedal-less bikes and even electronic three-wheelers, or "trikes."