Answer: To protest against a potential #LifeWithoutScooters.
The California city Aug. 10 released preliminary rankings on e-scooter/e-bike applications submitted by mobility-share companies. The city has been accepting applications for four potential contracts to operate e-scooters and e-bikes, two contracts for each, within its limits.
In the scooter category, the city ranked Lyft and Jump (owned by Uber) in the top two spots, respectively. Lime was listed fourth, while Bird came in 10th. Neither Lyft nor Jump currently operate scooters anywhere, while Bird and Lime have had their two-wheelers on Santa Monica’s streets for months now.
Both, therefore, organized a dark day for their services on Tuesday, Aug. 14 in protest. No one was able to unlock the scooters, in order to give residents a taste of what it would be like if the companies were not allowed to operate in their cities. They also began promoting the hashtag #LifeWithoutScooters.
For bikes, Lyft and Jump again took the top two spots, while Lime came in fourth (Bird does not offer bike-share services). Friday’s announcement was not the city’s final decision, which will be revealed Aug. 30.