Lime, Tier and Dott win London!

After a fairly rigorous tender process Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils have selected Lime, Tier and Dott to introduce shared e-scooters to Londoners. This happens to be the same three companies who just won the recent tender to operate in Paris also.

On June 7th Londoners can expect over Six thousand escooters released on to the streets of the capital from Berlin-based Tier, Amsterdam-based Dott and US-based Lime. It’s a massive win for these companies particularly on the back for the Paris win.  Will Dublin be next?

The selected companies will initially offer scooters to rent across six boroughs and local authorities in London: Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond upon Thames, the City of London, and Canary Wharf.

Voi who up to know have probably had the largest number of wins in the UK must be scratching their heads a little given the strong relationships they have built in recent times in many other UK cities and towns.  Another notably absentee on this list must surely be Bird which has offered electric scooter rentals on private property in London’s Olympic Park.

Lawrence Leuschner, CEO and Co-founder, TIER Mobility, said: “This is a hugely proud moment for TIER and we cannot wait to start working with London, a city famed for transport innovation, from constructing the first underground railway to building the world’s first international airport.

TIER’s vehicles also come with their rider-swappable batteries that enable​ ​riders to exchange batteries​ at charging stations hosted in local businesses across London, allowing them to earn free trips in the process.  According to Tier, Businesses which house charging stations will also benefit from increased footfall, while enjoying a revenue boost amounting to up to £16,650 a year. TIER also say they plan to install hundreds of charging pods across London.

In order to hire a scooter there are some catches however which maybe off putting to users and certainly will reduce the availability of the trial to all Londoners. Riders will need to have a full or provisional UK drivers licence.  I wonder how many Londoners have either?  For those that do- once they download their selected operator app, they will be required to take e-learning safety course before they are able to ride. Interestingly, helmets will not be mandatory.  Riders will be able to use bike lanes and on roads. Pavements however are a no go area!

Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead, said: ’We’re doing all we can to support London’s safe and sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and it’s clear that e-scooters could act as an innovative, greener alternative to car trips.

‘Safety remains our number one priority and we will work closely with the e-scooter operators, London Councils and the boroughs to ensure rigorous standards are consistently met. This new trial will provide the data and insights we need to determine the longer-term role e-scooters could play in our strategy for a greener and healthier future for London.’

Henri Moissinac, CEO & co-founder of Dott, said: ’We’re delighted to win the London tender, and this feels like just the beginning for Dott in the UK. We are proud to be a part of the trial and grateful to the TfL and London Councils for their trust.

The rental e-scooter trial forms part of a wider approach across TfL, London Councils, London boroughs and national government to enable people to use greener forms of transport and help avoid a damaging increase in car use which would make air quality worse and increase congestion.

London is the biggest and most complex environment for rental e-scooter trials in the UK and TfL and London Councils have taken time to work closely with the boroughs and a variety of different groups and stakeholders, including TfL’s Independent Disability Advisory Group, to ensure that the trial considers the needs of everybody living in, working in and visiting the trial areas.

Wayne Ting, CEO of Lime said: ’We’re proud to have already served more than 400,000 Londoners through our shared e-bike service over the last three years, and are delighted to now be able to bring our latest e-scooters to London. London is one of the world’s greatest cities and we’re humbled that Transport for London and London Councils have placed their trust in us to deliver one of the UK’s largest e-scooter trials in the capital.

Rental pricing will be set individually by the operators and confirmed in due course and operators will also outline the terms and conditions for rental, but all must meet TfL and London Councils’ rigorous minimum safety requirements.

After today’s announcement, all eyes will be on Dublin next perhaps?