The firm running York’s e-scooter trial is to add more scooters, expand the area it covers and also start offering e-bikes if the city’s transport bosses give it the go-ahead this week. Tier is hoping to offer its service everywhere within the outer ring road by summer.
In September, Tier announced that it would be running a year-long micro-mobility trial in York. It initially deployed 100 e-scooters, primarily at the University of York, but said more e-scooters and e-bikes would follow.
Tier’s scooters come with a large front wheel, wide foot plate, dual suspension, a double kick-stand, dual drum brakes and an integrated helmet. The plan is to add another 600 to the York fleet, plus some e-bikes.
The area where scooters and bikes can be used would also be expanded to Clifton, Rawcliffe, Southbank, Fulford and Heworth by the end of next month. This would mean most of the city within the outer ring road would be covered.
A council report says that 3,822 trips were taken during the first six weeks of the trial, with more than 25,000km travelled by users. No injuries resulted from use of the e-scooters in that time.
Fred Jones from Tier said: “York’s trial is off to a great start, and despite the lockdowns, we’ve seen strong uptake from the public, while a number of key workers have also been making the most of our free rides offer.
“In just over three months, Tier riders have travelled more than 50,000km across the city on our e-scooters.”
While the blanket ban on riding e-scooters on UK roads and cycle lanes was partially lifted in July last year to allow for trials of rented scooters covered by a motor vehicle insurance policy, the use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads remains illegal.
Jones added: "We have successfully launched a number of initiatives in York, including the first ever e-scooter theory test in partnership with the AA’s DriveTech, and a recycling scheme, which offers private e-scooter owners the chance to trade in their vehicles to be recycled or repurposed, in exchange for ride credit.
“In the coming months, we’ll be expanding operations to cover several new areas including South Bank, Clifton and Fulford. Hopefully, once we’re out of lockdown, this will lead to many more residents opting to use Tier e-scooters as a convenient and climate-friendly way of getting around the city.”
Tier operates around 60,000 e-scooters across 80 cities in 10 countries and in November raised €250m (£190m) to accelerate expansion.
The German-based firm says the funding will also help fast track the Tier Energy Network project, which will see thousands of electric vehicle charging stations installed in cities across Europe.