Lime ‘pauses’ scooter service in Calif.

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LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 09: A Lime dockless electric scooter is parked on a Wilshire Boulevard sidewalk, available for its next rider, on July 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Uber Technologies Inc. is investing with others in a $335 million round of financing in the San Francisco based e-scooter and bikeshare startup. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Lime, one of several companies in what was once a fierce competition for scooter riders, has “paused” service in California, several other states and throughout much of Europe due to the spread of the coronavirus.

“The COVID-19 virus is an unprecedented challenge facing cities and communities around the world, Lime CEO and founder Brad Bao said in a statement posted on the company website Tuesday. “Like you, we are worried about the cities we love and call home, the people we serve, and our colleagues on the ground. Loving cities means protecting them too. For now, we’re pausing Lime service to help people stay put and stay safe.”

The company is closely monitoring developments around the world and coordinating with health and regulatory authorities in more than 25 countries, according to the statement.

The company continues to operate in Abu Dhabi, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Chile and multiple cities in South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The Los Angeles Times reported that as of Wednesday morning, Lime was also still operating in Denver, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Washington, D.C.

In those markets, the company is cleaning and disinfecting scooters more frequently, using products recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’re following the CDC, the World Health Organization, federal agencies and other global health organizations to collect the most up-to-the- minute information to ensure the actions we’re taking are comprehensive and expedient,” Bao said. “Based on this information, we will decide to continue, pause, or suspend operations in certain markets.”

He also urged riders to wipe down scooters or bikes, which the company also rents, wash hands before and after riding and consider wearing gloves.

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