A New York debut for e-scooter sharing

A pilot program for e-scooter sharing has gone live in the East Bronx — offering New York City’s streets for the first time to venture capital-backed scooter companies.

Bird and Lime, two of the startups taking part in the pilot and some of the biggest competitors in the e-scooter marketplace, have raised more than $1.5 billion from investors collectively over the past half-decade, despite being locked out of the largest U.S. market.

“What happens in New York reverberates globally,” said Phil Jones, senior government relations director with Lime. “It’s an amazing opportunity to serve New Yorkers and show what Lime can be.”

E-scooters became legal in New York state last year, and the city this year selected California companies Bird and Lime, as well as the Chicago-based Veo, to operate a scooter-sharing program in the Bronx, which kicked off on Tuesday.