No, this is not another Covid story. You’re welcome.
But this is a story about Tier, the German micromobility company which today launches its 12-month trial programme in York.
The company will deploy a modest fleet of 50 scooters to begin with, matching the smaller-scale launch approach most other British trials locations have adopted latterly. The company has capacity to scale up to 700, however, if all goes well. York marks the 80th European location for the firm.
York gets Tier’s latest scooter model, the Tier Four, which comes with dual suspension, indicators, user-swappable batteries and a folding helmet stored in a built-in box. The scooters will also carry number plates.
Fees are £1/unlock and 15p/min to ride.
The scheme is not dockless. Initially, the pick-up point is the University of York, though other sites are being explored too. There are designated parking bays dotted around the city in which riders must end their journeys. And although batteries can be swapped by riders if one of Tier’s charging stations are located nearby, the operator will also have a team travelling through the city on cargo bikes to swap out spent batteries.
Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport at City of York Council, said in a press statement: “This will provide a fantastic opportunity to explore how e-scooters might add to the mix of sustainable transport options, whilst helping to improve air quality and expand our electrical vehicle charging offer. The trial will also form part of the city’s Covid-19 response in terms of, for example, providing sustainable alternatives to support capacity on public transport across the city. We’re excited to approve the trial in York and to be working alongside Tier. Together we will ensure there are clear and effective channels of communication which are critically important to get early warning of any issues that need to be addressed, to assess the impact and to learn all the lessons from the trial.”