DENVER — A contracted employee with Lime, a company that allows people to share bikes and scooters, is disputing some of what the company said about its scrapped bikes.
Last week, a viewer asked FOX31 Problem Solvers why at least 40 to 50 Lime bikes appeared to have been tossed away at a north Denver scrap yard instead of given to a nonprofit to repair the bikes.
Lime Bike told Problem Solvers the bikes were taken to the scrap yard, but said they were damaged beyond repair.
However, a Lime employee — who spoke to FOX31 anonymously and not as an official representative of the company — said that claim is largely untrue, and estimated that 90 percent of the scrapped bikes could have been used in some way.
“My read on the situation is we were in a rush to clear room for scooters. Nearly, if not all, of the bikes that were scrapped had some level of damage. The vast majority could have been salvaged for use or even for parts,” they said.
They also said working for Lime has been frustrating at times.
“I continue to be disappointed with the (what I feel) is a lack of integrity in their approach to cities, the media and employees,” they said.
The employee added that they and some coworkers expressed they would like to see the bikes donated prior to them being discarded. However, management said the process would take weeks, as corporate would not want bikes with the Lime logo “floating around.” The employee said they suggested painting over the decal or adding “Donated by” in front of the Lime logo.
On the other hand, the employee said many parts on Lime bikes are unique. Therefore, it may be difficult for a bike shop to easily maintain donated bikes.
Since the FOX31 story broke, the employee said the company has stopped its scrapping operations and has begun setting aside bikes for charity.
The scooter-sharing branch of Lime has had its own challenges as it tried to launch in Denver without properly consulting city officials. Lime says it is now working with the city to develop a pilot program for the scooters.