Just as quickly and quietly as they came, Bolt e-scooters have vanished from Atlanta streets.
An “Irish exit,” as tech website Atlanta Inno put it.
The Florida-based dockless vehicle provider—for which running superstar Usain Bolt is brand ambassador—was permitted for 1,000 devices in Atlanta.
Then, earlier this month, the electric two-wheelers disappeared from coverage maps in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, Nashville, Portland, Richmond, Roanoke, and Washington D.C., Gizmodo reported.
Bolt’s departure from Atlanta is the latest example of e-scoot companies jumping ship, as city officials gear up to rethink how dockless mobility vehicles are regulated.
A Bolt spokesperson told Curbed Atlanta the company “is evaluating its current markets as it expands its offerings and capabilities with municipalities and businesses to identify and execute more locally adaptable and data-driven micromobility solutions.”
The vague statement is reminiscent of those other e-scooter providers have issued upon leaving Atlanta.
For instance, officials with Lime, one of the largest companies to enter and exit the Atlanta market, said they wanted to “focus our resources on markets that allow us to meet our ambitious goals for 2020.”
Officials with Lyft, another major player, said they needed to operate “where we can have the biggest impact” upon waving bye-bye to the ATL.
Both were not-too-subtle nods to Atlanta City Council restrictions created to reign in what was once a free-for-all among e-scooter companies.
What began as largely a ban on riding and parking on sidewalks in January 2019 evolved into laws that capped speeds on the Beltline, among other places, and enacted a nighttime e-scooter curfew.
A spate of e-scooter-related collisions and fatalities in metro Atlanta had forced city officials to take a hard look at the state of the budding industry, and they’re still expected to reform regulations soon.
Next Wednesday, the city’s planning department is scheduled to host an open house to discuss the results of an e-scooter survey public officials conducted recently.
Those results are expected to inform the future of e-scooter rules in Atlanta.
For the time being, the city’s first e-scooter provider, Bird, is still on the scene, as are Uber’s Jump scooters and hybrids with seats offered by Wheels and Boaz Bikes.