The micromobility industry fully supports Transport for London’s (TfL) decision today to launch a competitive procurement process to determine which operators will run the next phase of London’s rental e-scooter trial.
Bidding operators will be chosen on their ability to meet “strict safety requirements” and “high operating standards,” according to the transport body.
TfL is extending the capital’s trial in response to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) recently updated guidance allowing local authority trials to continue until 31 May 2024.
The London trial is the largest in the UK and the contracts currently sit with Dott, Lime and TIER. These existing contracts were due to expire this year, but to ensure a continuation of service, they will now be extended to September 2023 while the procurement is completed.
Matthew Pencharz, Head of Policy at Voi UK and Ireland, told Zag Daily: “As the largest UK e-scooter operator with nearly 18.5m rides to date – with the widest experience of running schemes in major cities – we welcome Transport for London’s decision to continue operating e-scooters in London and making them an important part of the capital’s sustainable transport strategy.
“We will examine the tender in further detail on how we apply our high-safety standards and operational expertise to delivering a safe, sustainable, affordable, and convenient micromobility service for all for the people of London.”
Since the trial launched in June last year, the 4,425 e-scooters now available in London have allowed almost two million journeys to be made.
“Since launching our service, growing numbers of Londoners have discovered how shared e-scooters can provide efficient, reliable and sustainable travel, either for a whole trip or combined with public transport,” Dott’s General Manager for UK and Ireland, Duncan Robertson, told Zag.
“We look forward to taking part in this procurement process, and working with TfL to demonstrate our commitment to providing a high standard of service which can help to reduce congestion and pollution across the city.”
Throughout the continuing trial, operators will be required to continue providing critical data for TfL to understand the impact of e-scooters on London’s transport goals – which includes the Vision Zero aim to eliminate death and serious injuries from London’s roads.
This is also so TfL can test innovative technology, which could include new e-scooters, as well as sounds to ensure they can be heard when approaching.
ZEUS’s Chief Operating Officer Christopher Kemp told Zag: “ZEUS are pleased to hear about the announcement of London extending their trial. After the acquiring of ZWINGs recently I believe there is a great opportunity to expand our scope across the UK. London would be a great base for potentially trialling the unique 3-wheel scooter we have to offer and seeing how the market react to this stable and safer option that is offered across the rest of Europe.
“We recently carried out a survey showcasing that we appeal to a higher demographic with over 50% of respondents being over 30 years old. We are excited about the new opportunities the UK poses over the coming years.”
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, commented: “The e-scooter trial has proven to be popular and this next phase of the trial will build upon this, replicating the high safety requirements and high operating standards, and continuing to learn through testing newer technology to ensure that these vehicles work for everybody. With the right regulations that prioritise safety, rental e-scooters can help ensure a green, sustainable future for London.”
The contracts led under the new procurement may run for longer than the DfT’s national trial term that ends on 31 May 2024.