London’s e-scooter trial exceeds half a million trips

TfL and e-scooter operators Dott, Lime and Tier have released new data that shows the progress of the capital’s trial, with more than 585,000 trips now made, covering a total of 1.6 million kilometres.

Around 180,000 people have used the scheme to date and the most rides by a single user was more than 300 trips.

The busiest month for the trial was October, as people returned to offices and the London Borough of Camden joined the scheme, and the most popular hour to ride an e-scooter is between 6pm and 7pm.

The London trial has expanded over the first eight months since it launched. The number of vehicles available to hire has increased sixfold to 3,585 vehicles and the number of boroughs participating in the trial has doubled. There are now more than 420 designated parking locations across the trial area, with plans to expand this number over the coming year to further increase parking density. The operators use an entirely zero-emission fleet powered by 100% renewable energy for their operations.

Last week, the London operators announced plans to collaborate and partner with UCL’s research facility PEARL to research and develop a ‘universal sound’ for rental e-scooters. Building on work already undertaken by all three operators, the approach is supported by TfL and could improve safety across the entire e-scooter industry by helping people, in particular those with visual impairments, identify rental e-scooters.

Research is expected to produce a sound that can be tested by operators in London this year, attaining an industry standard and ultimately aiming to scale up to other cities in the UK and beyond.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “I am pleased that this e-scooter trial is proving popular and it is staggering to think that enough trips have now been made to go around the world 40 times! As we continue to recover from the pandemic, e-scooters can play a role in urban transport systems offering greener and more sustainable alternatives to the car.

“However, there is currently a woeful lack of regulation around private e-scooters. The London trial has safety at its heart and we continue to gather evidence about how e-scooters can be made safer for riders and all other road users.”

Read more: Dott raises additional $70 million in Series B funding round

Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead, said: “E-scooters could play an important role in ensuring a green and sustainable future for London and I’m delighted that the rental trial has exceeded the exciting milestone of half a million trips.

“We’re working closely with operators, councils and people across London to build on the success of the trial so far and we hope that even more people will be able to take advantage of the trial over the coming year. The anonymised data we gather is crucial and we’ll be analysing this closely so that we can learn more about the role e-scooters could play in helping people move around London sustainably.”

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