TfL selects operators for upcoming scooter trial

Posted: 18 May 2021 | | No comments yet

TfL has selected the three operators to run its year-long e-scooter trial, which is slated to begin next month. Below, we hear from Dott, TIER, and Lime on their plans for scooters in the UK capital.

TFL scooter trial operators

TfL has selected Dott, Lime, and TIER to operate scooters on London's streets in an upcoming trial

Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils today announced that London’s rental e-scooter trial will begin on Monday 7 June, in a core group of boroughs, Canary Wharf and the City of London, with more areas expected to join the 12-month trial as it progresses.

Following the UK Government’s announcement last year to legalise rental trials of e-scooters run by local authorities, TfL and London Councils launched “an open and competitive procurement process” for the planned trial of an e-scooter rental scheme in London.

Operators Dott, Lime and TIER have been appointed to take part in the trial following the process, with their ability to meet strict safety requirements and high operating standards “carefully considered” by TfL and London Councils.

The authorities behind the trial say safety will be at the core throughout, and data shared by the operators will play a vital role in helping to shape London and the UK’s future policy on e-scooters, including whether they could form part of London’s sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. 

TfL says the safety standards required will go further than those set out at a national level, by requiring a lower maximum speed of 12.5mph, lights at the front and the rear of the vehicles that are always on throughout any rental, and audible warning systems that can be used without adjusting the rider’s grip of the handlebar.

The operators will also have other safety mechanisms in place, including ‘first ride policies’ where riders will need to take an e-learning safety course before they hire for the first time.

A core group of London boroughs, Canary Wharf and the City of London will be participating in the trial fully by providing parking, with further boroughs acting as ‘ride-through’ areas, which users may travel through but not start or end e-scooter rides. Between 60 and 150 e-scooters will be available to rent in each fully participating borough initially, with riders able to move freely across these boroughs and ‘ride-through’ areas.

The selected boroughs, Canary Wharf and the City of London will control parking locations for e-scooters, providing marked designated bays to protect against street clutter and ensure footways are kept free – geo-fencing technology will also be a requirement for every rental e-scooter. Boroughs will also be able to specify ‘go-slow’ areas where the speed of e-scooters will be automatically limited to 8mph.

“We want to ensure a green, sustainable recovery from coronavirus, and e-scooters are an alternative to cars that could help with this,” said Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner.

“The safety of those using e-scooters, as well as other road users and pedestrians, is absolutely paramount, so it’s important that they are trialled in this rigorous way to ensure high standards. We look forward to exploring the role that e-scooters could play in London’s future.”

TIER scooter London

The trial will last for approximately 12 months and will start in June

“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,” added Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead.

“We will also continue to work closely with all of our stakeholders, including TfL’s Independent Disability Advisory Group, to ensure that the trial meets the needs of everybody living in, working in and visiting the trial areas. 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 and co-founder of Dott, expressed his pleasure at being selected as one of the chosen operators. “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. This decision is testament to the daily work of Dott’s local and international teams, who have been providing a high-quality, accessible and reliable service, since our foundation.

“We are excited that we will soon be able to offer Londoners the best micro-mobility services, working closely with local authorities and other operators to build a better and more sustainable city.”

Wayne Ting, CEO of Lime echoed his sentiments: “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.”

“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,” said Lawrence Leuschner, CEO and Co-founder of TIER Mobility, the third operator selected to participate in the trial.

“We will be applying all of the experience and knowhow we’ve gained from other major cities to ensure that TIER’s e-scooter scheme in London is a success, not just for riders but for other road users and communities at large.”