Thursday, November 30, 2023

Scooter thefts shut down Grin rental service in Mexico City

The only e-scooter company in Mexico City operating with a license has announced that it is temporarily suspending its rental service due to theft.

Grin said in a statement released yesterday that it had taken the decision to immediately “pause” its operations in the capital and offered an apology to scooter users.

The company acknowledged that some people will think that withdrawing its scooters from the streets after paying for a license is “madness” but stressed that wasn’t the case.

“During this break . . . hundreds of people at Grin México will make adjustments to improve service, migrate systems [and] add a new micro-mobility solution to the Grin family but above all they will develop schemes of collaboration with Mexico City authorities to prevent the theft of our scooters,” the statement said.

“. . . The theft of scooters in Mexico City represents the greatest challenge for Grin’s operations.”

The company said it will soon return with more mobility options, better service and, it hopes, fewer stolen scooters. Rentals will be free on the day that service resumes, the statement said.

Many of the scooters stolen from Grin and other e-scooter companies have been tracked to neighborhoods in the eastern borough of Iztapalapa and Tepito, an inner-city area notorious for crime.

Workers who have attempted to retrieve the scooters have been placed in risky situations and even threatened with firearms, according to a report in the newspaper El Sol de México.

Mexico City has seen an influx of rental scooters and bicycles in recent times but the government says that some companies, including Lime and Mobike, are operating without licenses.

Transportation Secretary Andrés Lajous said that from today on authorities would begin removing unauthorized scooters and bikes from the street.

The vehicles will be taken to a warehouse and to recover them, the companies will have to pay a fine, he said.

Source: El Sol de México (sp) 

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