Lime stops working with freelancers in Paris

Scooter startup Lime is ending the juicer model in Paris. The company has announced that it will stop working with freelancers to recharge scooter batteries at night. Lime is switching to Amazon’s model by partnering with third-party companies.

Lime has often been criticized for relying on freelancers to take care of its scooters. As Libération reported back in May, the company used to pay freelancers €20 per scooter and slowly decreased that amount to €5 per scooter.

Juicers received a notification today telling them that their accounts will be deactivated in 45 days. The company probably doesn’t want to end the juicer program overnight so that freelancers have enough time to look for another job.

After that, Lime isn’t going to hire all juicers directly. The company is now looking for third-party companies that can help them manage the scooter fleet in Paris.

Lime says that those companies will have to comply with multiple quality and safety standards. For instance, the company will first select companies that use electric vehicles and renewable electricity. Based on wording, it seems like it doesn’t mean that all partners have to use electric vehicles and renewable electricity.

Finally, Lime says that former juicers will get some opportunities to become Lime employees. The company will also try to help some of them create a formal company to keep working with Lime.

This structure is quite reminiscent of Amazon in France. Amazon doesn’t hire delivery persons directly. They partner with third-party companies. Libération also reported that Amazon takes advantage of that relationship to foster productivity at all costs. If your company doesn’t perform well enough, Amazon just stops giving you packages to deliver.

Back in June, the City of Paris announced that it would clamp down on scooter startups. There are just too many of them currently operating in Paris. The city plans to select two or three companies and give them a license to operate.

It’s clear that Lime wants to improve its processes to get a license. Paris said that it would select companies based on how they pay workers charging scooters overnight and how they handle broken scooters.

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