Ambassador Pyatt’s Remarks: Lime Scooter Ride in Thessaloniki

Ambassador Pyatt's Lime Scooter Ride in Thessaloniki with Consul General Liz Lee (State Department Photo)

Umbrella Sculpture, Thessaloniki Promenade 

Thursday, June 3, 2021, 9:35 a.m. 

As delivered

Kalimera everybody. Let me say first of all how great it is to be back in Thessaloniki, this beautiful city. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here, and a long time since I’ve seen the umbrellas.

I’m really glad to be here today with Lime Scooters, a company that I got to know back in 2018 when they entered the Greek market. Lime is a company which is headquartered in my home state of California, in San Francisco. It’s a company which has been innovating across the area of micro mobility and very much fits with the challenges and the opportunities of a city like Thessaloniki.

It was no surprise for me to learn that with so many students and universities Thessaloniki accounts for about half of the number of rides that have been registered by Lime Scooters across Greece since they launched here. It is very helpful that Lime will be able to relaunch here in Thessaloniki very soon this summer as part of the gradual reopening of the economy, the reopening of the tourism economy, which is so important to this city, which I’ve been discussing with Minister Theocharis.

I know that Minister Skrekas and the team at the Ministry of Energy, including the Secretary General Alexandra Sdoukou, my friend, is very focused on this challenge of micro-mobility, how to use technology to make transportation greener, to make transportation more efficient, and especially in a city like Thessaloniki that has challenges of traffic, to make it easier for citizens.

I should also note, San Francisco, aside from being the home town of Lime Scooters, is also a sister city for Thessaloniki, so I’m looking forward to discussing that sister city relationship and Lime Scooters with Mayor Zervas later this morning. And of course our wonderful Consul General Liz Lee is a San Franciscan herself, a real San Franciscan. So there is a natural fit there.

I also discussed issues of micro-mobility with Mayor Bakoyiannis in Athens. I know everybody wants to figure out how to use these innovative technologies in a way that works for cities, that’s safe but also helps to facilitate people going about and doing their business every day.