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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Grin scooters return to Mexico City following short setback

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Talk about a fast comeback. Despite a spree of issues ranging from legal matters to theft, Grin scooters have formally returned to Mexico City.

News broke out this morning over Twitter about the company’s second debut. As of August 21, Grin will resume operations in the posh northern neighborhood of Polanco in Mexico’s capital.

“Starting today, you will all start seeing Grin in the city streets,” said Santiago Jimenez, country manager for Grin Mexico, in a Tweet. “We will begin in Polanco with some e-scooters, and depending on what we observe this week, we will be growing the number and areas where you will be able to find them.”

From my observation, the new units have a slightly different appearance. Pictured below, traditional units appeared like your standard run-of-the-mill scooter. Two wheels and a handlebar, what else do you need?

However, newer models now have some sort of box attached towards the bottom.

Whether or not these are part of Grin’s undisclosed anti-theft efforts is still unknown. Rest assured that I have reached out to the company in hopes of learning about its new strategy. I’ll be updating the article as soon as I know more. 

Let’s backtrack

Back in July, Grin dropped the bomb that it will be vacating Mexico City for an undisclosed amount of time. The crux of the problem reportedly related to massive scooter theft, prompting the company to withdraw units until a solution was made.

Prior to this, the mobility company also had its fair share of drama with Mexico City transportation authorities, Semovi. Trouble began when Grin joined a 45-day pilot program along with 10 other micro-mobility startups, each receiving temporary operating permits to experiment in the metropolis. 

A game of “he said, she said” ensued with Semovi claiming that Grin failed to provide proper documentation before a designated time. Issues reportedly revolved around the lack of individual vehicle insurance as well as little customer service support.

According to Grin, though, Semovi revoked its permit before the deadline even arrived. At the same time, the mobility company accused the government group of requesting private user information that it wasn’t willing to share. Authorities claimed they were just asking for age and gender of riders. 

Make it work

While Grin has experienced some rough patches in Mexico City, whether it be theft or legal battles, it’s apparent that the company wants to incorporate itself into the urban community.

Earlier this month, the mobility startup even cleaned and restored Rosario Castellanos Park near Chapultepec. This was a collaboration between Green Recovery and Reforestamos Mexico. 

Based on its Argentine expansion and merger with Brazilian mobility startup Yellow to create Grow, let’s hope there are more good things in store for Grin. Less theft and fewer government debacles definitely won’t hurt.

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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