creating a scooter-sharing app like Lime

Scooter sharing is a popular mode of transportation nowadays. They are cheap, reliable, and easy to use. In addition to that, the scooters are electric-run, making them cleaner for the environment. So if you are thinking of creating a scooter-sharing app like Lime, you are at the right place.

Scooter sharing apps like Lime are insanely popular, with over 10M downloads on Google Play Store and 4.7-star reviews. This gives you an idea of the revenue generated by scooter-sharing companies. 

Surging In The Popularity Graph!

There are many reasons that make e-scooter-sharing apps immensely popular, like: 

  • Price: They are way cheaper compared to conventional transport. If you take an e-scooter for rent, the average of $0.10-$0.15 a minute whereas an Uber costs about $0.40 a minute. 
  • Convenience: Using an e-scooter is considerably more convenient than using your own bike/ motorcycle, as you don’t have to worry about parking space, theft, etc. 
  • Traffic Jams: You can pass through traffic jams with ease using e-scooters. This saves a lot of time. And since you are charged on a per-minute basis, it becomes cheaper for you overall. 

One of the most popular scooter-sharing apps is Lime: 

App Name:  Lime -Your Ride Anytime
Founded by:  Brad Bao
Founded In:  January 2017 (San Francisco, CA, USA)
Current CEO: Brad Bao
Annual Revenue: $169.1M
Industry:  E-scooter sharing
Top Competitors: Scoot Networks, Ninebot, Mobike, Spin

Lime is present all over the world like the U.S, Europe, Israel, the U.A.E, and even South Korea. 

The e-scooter app development segment has been growing steadily with time and this is the correct time for you to invest in a scooter sharing app. In this blog, we are going to discuss how to create a scooter-sharing app like Lime, the benefits of such an app, and possible business models. 

Most Popular Features in Lime

most popular features in Lime

The features offered by Lime are definitely something you should analyze before making your scooter-sharing app. Apart from that, we have also discussed additional features that you might want to consider:

1. Registration

You need to register in the app in order to rent its e-scooters. For this, you first need to create an account, which you can do via Facebook or Google. You can also try to include other popular social media integrations like Twitter, Linked In, etc. 

Subsequently, you will be asked to upload your driver’s license to verify your identity and that you are old enough to drive. You must also add your credit card for quick and easy payments. 

Thus, a seamless registration feature will augur well for your app.

2. Map Integration

It goes without saying that you have to integrate Google maps with your application. Google maps will allow you to track all the scooters. The map can also help customers easily find the nearest scooter parking spots.

3. QR Code Scanner

A QR code or a Quick Response Code is a square-shaped design that looks like the picture shown above. Your app should have access to the customer’s camera, and be able to scan the QR Code mounted on the bike.

Lime QR code

4. Automatic Payments

In the “Registration” section we have seen that the customer is asked to add his/ her credit card. Your app must be able to bill the customer’s card according to the rides he/ she has taken over a period of time automatically.

5. Smart Locks

The scooters will be locked in their parking area using a smart lock. When a customer scans the Lime QR code using his/ her app, the smart lock understands it and unlocks the bike for use. This system ensures that your bikes are not stolen from the parking area. 

After you are done using the scooter, you can park it in the Lime parking area or you can leave it anywhere in the green area marked on the Lime scooter app.

6. Bike Information on the App

The customer should be able to view all kinds of data on the app itself like, the battery percentage of the e-scooter, headlight toggle button, etc. This allows the user to easily monitor and control the features that are offered to him.

7. Push Notifications

Your app needs to have push notifications enabled in order to communicate the offers, and promos you run. This will encourage users to use your e-scooters more and come back to it again and again.

8. Bookings

Customers should be able to pre-book their scooter so that they can organize group rides with their family and friends. 

Idea Usher has a team of experienced designers, front-end developers, back-end developers, mobile app developers. The team has access to all the necessary tools and resources that your project might require. Starting from a nominal price of $8k. You can contact us if you are thinking of creating a scooter-sharing app like Lime.

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How to Build the Scooter Sharing App?

how to build a scooter sharing app


1. Conduct Market Analysis

Analyze your market before creating a scooter-sharing app like Lime. This in-depth market analysis will help you figure out exactly who is your target audience. When you ultimately decide to make the app, the analysis will help designers and developers to create the app accordingly. 

Also, on the basis of this research, you can figure out the best places in the city where you can place your scooter parking. Like you can make one parking near an area of the city where there are many hostels. And, another in front of the nearest office dense area. 

2. Getting Your App Designed

The UI/ UX designers will help you create a sample app design. This will enable you to envision the finished app easily.

An in-depth analysis of Lime will also help you figure out how your own app should look like. You can take inspiration from there and improve on a similar design. Designers can also create designs from scratch. This will make your app unique, and if done right -better. 

The designs created heavily depend on the experience of the designer as well. That is why you should always check the designer’s work portfolio before hiring him/ her. 

3. Scout For A Development Team & Design

Before commencing with the development of an application, there are a few questions that you need to answer.

Figure Out The Application Type:

Speaking of types, there are two major types:

  1. Native apps, that requires an operating system to execute (like iOS/Android), and
  2. Web apps, that run on web browsers. 

Web apps are the cheaper option among the two and can be launched faster than native apps. Nevertheless, they come with their own set of disadvantages. For instance, it is mostly impossible for users to download web apps.

Hiring an app designer & app development are not the same.

A market-leading e-scooter sharing app should be having these features to stay ahead of the competitors:

  1. Facilitate users to rent e-bikes from their preferred location smoothly
  2. Easy link with an e-bikes database
  3. Lock/Unlock e-bike by utilizing phone number/ Bluetooth,
  4. Live location of e-bikes on maps along with track history, and
  5. An effortless charging mechanism that tracks bike usage and charges the user appropriately.

It’s always a great idea to look at similar companies that are providing the same service. It will give you insights into the best solution that caters to the need of the market.

4. Beta Testing Your App

A beta version of the app should be launched and tested by a set of actual users before launching the final app. The feedback from these users wil help you fix issues that would be invisible to the developer without real feedback. 

You can test the app internally first. Hand the app off to employees for free, and ask them to use the app’s services for a week or two. This is bound to uncover a plethora of design issues, glitches, and bugs. Which can be then fixed by the app development team. 

Test your app with a set of voluntary beta users. You can provide them with the service of the app for a week or two and figure out what issues they are facing. This will allow you to drill the app to perfection before it is released to the general public. 

Final Market Launch and Feedback System Maintenance

There should be no compromises while testing the app. Both internal and external testing should be done properly. And, every single feedback should be studied carefully. The issues reported need to be fixed before launch. Here are some of the steps that need to be taken before the final launch: 

  1. Bugs need to be identified and fixed, 
  2. Other glitches and problems need to be fixed,
  3. Improving the overall design of the app,
  4. A feedback tracking page should be available, and
  5. Make sure that features like group rides aren’t a hassle to the users.

Cost of Building a Scooter Sharing App

The cost of building any app heavily depends on the features you are looking to add. Here is a list of costs that will help you figure out how much time and money you have to invest in order to get an app like Lime.

To make a smooth registration feature, you will require a capital of around $1800 to $3300. This includes social media integrations. ID verification will cost an additional $1500 to $2500.

Integrating Google maps and enabling real-time GPS tracking system of the scooters $2500 to $4500. Smart locks will cost around $1500-$2500. 

Booking systems will cost about $1500 to $2500. Similarly, the cost of push notifications ranges from $800 to $1000. 

So, the development of such an app from scratch would cost around $22k to $28k, taking a time of 4-5 months. This is taking into account the development on both iOS and Android platforms.

How Does Lime Work?

You can find and download Lime from the Apple app store or the Google play store. After this, you would need to create an account and upload your driver’s license. 

The app, using Google Maps, fetches your location and uses it to identify the shortest route to an available Lime Scooter. Once you get to the scooter, you can open your QR code scanner in the app, and scan the QR code mounted on the e-bike. 

You can even buy a “LimePass”, which is a weekly subscription that gives you access to Lime scooters for a week without any unlock fees. 

Lime also offers 3 types of rides: 

types of rides offered by lime

  • Bikes,
  • Scooters, and
  • Mopeds.

In case, your phone camera doesn’t work, you can type in the bike code given below the QR code on the bike. The app identifies the scooter in its network, cross-checks your location and the scooter’s location, and unlocks the smart lock accordingly. 

At this point, you are free to take the scooter wherever you want within a given geofence. A geofence is an imaginary boundary around the perimeter of the area in which Lime operates.

This explanation should help you figure out the workflow of Lime. And, will help you when you are talking to designer and developers about creating a scooter-sharing app like Lime. 

Most Elegant Way to Make Money With a Scooter Sharing App

There are various ways to monetize your app. But, not all business models are applicable to your specific requirements. However, a subscription-based model is the best one to start your journey with a scooter-sharing app like Lime. 

Subscription-Based Model:

Lime business model infographic

This is what apps like Netflix use. There are various plans that you can choose from and use the service offered by the company for the tenure of the plan. 

Lime also uses the “LimePass” which is a weekly scooter subscription plan. Once you buy the plan you don’t need to pay any unlock fees for that week. 

Lime also uses a rent-to-use model, where the customer rents the scooter for every individual ride. But, the subscription plan is where the regular customers flock to. 

The pay-per-ride model is suitable for companies like Uber, Lyft, Lime, etc. You must also use a combination of both the subscription model and the pay-per-use model. 

You can offer better subscription plans to your user so that they opt for the plans instead of going for the pay-per-use option. Recurring payments can be set up with a customer’s credit card so that they do not have to manually renew the plan every time.  

The Bottom Line

As we say in this blog post, creating a scooter-sharing app like Lime is a great idea when it comes to the business perspective of earning a steady flow of revenue. But, if we look at the actual development process it seems to be expensive, difficult, and time-taking at the first glance. 

However, you must understand that if you are looking to develop the app from the U.S, it can burn a bigger hole in your pocket. Outsourcing your app work to an Indian company will save you both time and money. 

Idea Usher has a team of experienced designers, front-end developers, back-end developers, mobile app developers. The team has access to all the necessary tools and resources that your project might require. Starting from a nominal price of $8k. You can contact us if you are thinking of creating a scooter-sharing app like Lime.

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1. Can Lime be used for 2 scooters?

Group rides is a feature that allows you to access multiple scooters using the same account on Lime. 

2. Does Uber own Lime? 

Uber has a small stake in Lime. It has invested $170 Million dollars in Lime. 

3. How much do lime scooter chargers make?

Lime scooter chargers make an average of $8 per scooter. With a range of $5 to $12 per scooter. 


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