Calgary

'Basically you go hunting': How Calgarians charge up their bank accounts with Lime e-scooters

One man says he wakes up every day before the crack of dawn to work as one of Calgary's 'Lime Juicers'— gathering electric scooters, charging them and dropping them off across the city.

One man says he's made $2,400 in a matter of weeks

A 'Lime Juicer' sets their own hours and gets paid for every scooter they collect and charge. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

Matthew Cronier brings side hustles to a whole other level.

The apprentice electrician says every day before he goes to bed and again when he wakes up he works as one of Calgary's "Lime Juicers" — a job where you gather electric scooters, charge them and drop them off across the city.

"Having this right now is basically doubling my wage with only half of the work," said Cronier, who started "juicing" earlier this month.

Matthew Cronier has been working as a 'Lime Juicer' in Calgary since July. (James Young/CBC)

Emerging from a platform similar to Uber, Lime scooters came to Calgary in early July and have quickly risen in popularity.  Since the electric scooters require charging every night, Lime has put out ads across media channels promoting work as a "Lime Juicer."

Which is exactly what Cronier saw when he was scrolling through Facebook one day.

"I didn't really have much to lose so I thought I'd try it out," he said. "I registered and it took off pretty quick and it's been going very well."

How it works

Cronier says Lime has an app that shows a global positioning system (GPS) of all the lime scooters in the area. From there, juicers will reserve a scooter and ensure they get there within the 30-minute reservation period.

"If you miss a reservation you made then you can't reserve for the rest of the day," he explained. 

Cronier says after you pick up the scooter you can either bring it home to charge or reserve another one in your area.

In his case, he drives around every night and collects up to 25 scooters — the maximum a juicer is allowed to reserve. 

"I feel like you're really not dominating on the money you can make unless you have the opportunity of that," explained Cronier.

Cronier has set up a charging station in his garage that can accommodate up to 25 e-scooters. (James Young/CBC)

He says juicers receive $5.25 per scooter and, in a matter of weeks, he's made about $2,400. 

"It's really helping out paying off my credit cards that I racked up, and a little bit of debt," he said. "I'll also be starting school as an apprentice electrician in September, so this is really going to keep me going until the end of October."

When asked how this affects his electricity bill, Cronier says he calculated it at about 10 cents an hour per scooter.

'Basically you go hunting'

Cronier says he takes every opportunity to pick up the e-scooters and finds himself doing it during coffee breaks or even after the bar on weekends.

"Basically you go hunting, so you find one on the GPS and you try to get there real quick," he explained. 

Cronier says anyone that wants to try working as a  "Lime Juicer" should live in a good location, have a large vehicle and a place to store the scooters while they charge.

"If you're close to downtown it's great, and having a garage so that nobody's messing around with your stuff," he said.

Cronier explains that being a "Lime Juicer" might not be for everyone and he himself has a demanding schedule with apprenticing, softball and hockey, but will always finds a way to fit in his side hustle.

 "I don't see myself stopping any time soon," he said.

With files from James Young

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.