Welcome to On Deck – Zag’s new round-up of the latest developments happening in the world of micromobility.
Rather than bombard you with regurgitated press releases, we want to digest all the important news and point you towards some of the latest happenings in the sector.
While we’re all still waiting for the official announcement on which three operators have won the contract for London (more on that below), Zag’s latest market data shows the UK has nearly doubled its e-scooter fleet in just two months.
We also have an in-depth profile piece on Beryl founder and chief executive Emily Brooke, who believes that e-scooters could be the ‘gateway drug’ for micromobility growth. There will be more interviews lined up for the future, so please stay tuned as we get closer to the operators and trials happening in the UK and across Europe.
And although there is nothing official yet about the London trials, it is heavily rumoured to be the same operators that won in Paris – Dott, Lime and Tier. We won’t have long to wait to find out for sure, but Transport for London (TfL) may have favoured companies that have already taken on a city of scale.
It’s perhaps important to mention that Zag has a new publisher and editor, but will remain an independent voice in the micromobility sector. So here are some of our latest discoveries:
1. Car can no longer be King
What: An international transport think tank has urged governments to prioritise micromobility investment to avoid a car led recovery from the pandemic. The recommendations within the Reversing Car Dependency report are well worth a look.
Why it matters: The International Transport Forum (ITF) has a mandate for all modes of transport, so this isn’t just another green-think tank that has it out for the car. Towns and cities know they need to find the right mix for all modes of transport and that means a rebalancing of infrastructure investment.
2. E-scooters are not a panacea
What: E-scooters alone will not solve how we rethink first and last mile mobility. However, they can play a part in offering more options as an alternative to the car. So it’s good to see further progress with Voi and Beryl linking their services with public transport to help with onward journey planning.
Why it matters: All smart mobility has to work together in a seamless ecosystem. This stuff has to be more convenient than jumping in the car, so anything that can be done to join things up in an easier way has to be applauded.
3. The price of Ginger
What: Ginger has halved the price for renting its e-scooters until the end of April to make the most of this spring weather. Pricing has gone down to 49p per 10 minutes to ride and 25p per 10 minutes to pause. No unlock fee remains.
Why it matters: The company is currently running seven e-scooter trials, with the largest so far being in Stafford, Middlesborough and Milton Keynes. It will be interesting to track what impact this has on rider engagement over the next two months as operators tweak their price points for new riders.