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Tier takes over UK’s largest e-scooter scheme

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Tier is to replace Voi as the new West of England region shared micromobility operator.

The region’s e-scooters will change colour from coral to green and will be branded WESTscoot from the autumn.

Over six million journeys have been made on Voi’s e-scooters in the region since 2020 making it one of the largest in Europe.

The 4,000 WESTscoot e-scooters will, for the first time, come with 1,500 WESTbike e-bikes and 20 WESTcargo bikes.

The contract is expected to bring in excess of £9 million to the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority over four years with the money raised being ring-fenced to be reinvested in future West of England transport improvements.

Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, told Zag Daily: “Bristol has become the UK’s most popular place for Voi e-scooters during the trial so far, replacing millions of car journeys and bringing a £20 million boost to our local economy.

“E-scooters have become an important part of a modern, sustainable transport mix for our city. We hope that the next phase of the trial will build on this success.

“The revenue arrangements will be resolved by the WECA committee and we would expect the majority of monies to be invested in Bristol, where the vast majority of rides are taken.”

Other benefits for residents include clauses in the contract to address parking concerns, and 100 brand-new e-scooter parking racks to help keep the fleet tidy.

Jessica Hall, Head of Public Policy UK, TIER, told Zag: “We will be bringing our latest vehicles, the TIER 3 e-bike and the TIER 6 e-scooter, both of which are state-of-the-art and compatible with the latest software developments. 

“At TIER we are continuously working on ways to improve our service. Earlier this year we launched AVPS our most advanced parking verification system to date which combines data from Google’s Visual Positioning System (VPS) and combines it with our in-house developed parking bay surveying solution, developed by Fantasmo. This system will be used from day one in the West of England, ensuring high-parking compliance. 

“Parking is one of the top priorities in the provision of the service, with our performance reviewed monthly. If performance targets are missed there are a range of measures we will take collaboratively with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to ensure compliance improves. WECA will also have punitive measures it can take if necessary.”

Jack Samler, General Manager for Voi UK, Ireland and France, said in a statement: “We have worked tremendously hard over the last three years to make the West of England e-scooter trial the most successful in the country – and one of the largest in Europe. We are very proud of what we’ve achieved in Bristol and Bath and the legacy we’ve built. It is disappointing to be leaving these cities.

“There are several differences in the new contract compared to our existing contract, many of which will impact on our overall costs. At Voi, we believe schemes must be financially sustainable for operators to allow for continued investment in rider experience, safety and integration with other road users and pedestrians. This is critical for the industry long-term. We are not prepared to run any shared e-scooter trial at a loss.

“Earlier this year we signed a joint framework agreement with four other micromobility operators setting out the correct conditions for successful operation of e-scooter and e-bikes in cities and towns, with a section covering fees in order to ensure the financial sustainability of the industry. The agreement recommended a fixed annual fee per vehicle, consistent with shared bike schemes, recognising that e-scooter schemes are not subsidised, unlike other forms of sustainable transport.

“We will now work closely with the West of England Combined Authority and the new operator to ensure a smooth transition to the new operator.”

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