SAN ANTONIO - They almost seem to materialize overnight. Those zippy scooters that you’ve probably noticed around town suddenly pop up on what had been empty sidewalks.
That’s due to people like Eduardo Guadardo, who work practically all night long to make sure they’re charged up, in place and ready to go.
Guadardo, a husband and father, makes ends meet for his family by working as a “Lime Juicer.”
That nickname exclusively is given to hired contractors who “juice,” or charge, the bright green Lime brand scooters.
At least two other companies, Bird and Razor, also hire people to charge their scooters.
“I usually go to sleep around midnight or one in the morning and then wake up around 5 a.m.,” Guadardo said.
After he clocks out at his “day job” in a warehouse, he spends several hours each night harvesting the drained scooters from the streets.
Guadardo then takes them home and plugs them into the half-dozen or so special chargers set up outside his family’s home.
After a few hours, he heads back to the streets and resets the scooters with the help of an app on his phone.
“It shows all the places where you can drop them off,” he said.
Using that app, he scrambles to claim his territory, then drives to the designated locations.
If he doesn’t deliver within a certain time, the space is released to other juicers.
“I just try to make a little extra money,” he said.
Contractors are paid a fee for each scooter they charge.
Guadardo started the juicing job last August when there were relatively few other people in the game.
He said lately, though, the competition has been heating up, driving down the price for each scooter he charges.
“There have been more juicers lately and I see a lot of other people getting accepted and I’m, like, “No. No. No more.”
The challenges don’t end there.
If the scooters are not lined up neatly or placed in the exact location, all of his work could be in vain and it also could hurt the industry.
“The city is cracking down on that right now. They don't want (the scooters) in the way of everybody,” Guadardo said.
He takes great pains to make sure he follows all the rules.
Not doing so could mean he won’t get paid, making it impossible for him to reap the fruit of his Lime-juicing labor.
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