E-scooters are now available on the streets of York as part of a 12-month rental trial operated by the leading European operator TIER, providing a safe and sustainable way of getting around the city.
The Department for Transport-approved scheme will initially see 50 e-scooters deployed in the City, with the potential to gradually increase to up to 700 after six months. Renting an e-scooter in York will cost riders £1 to unlock the vehicle and 15p per minute travelled.
People can pick up the e-scooters at the University of York campus and ride them along a number of cycle and road routes, offering an environmentally friendly and Covid-safe mode of transport. Discussions are also taking place with York Hospital, which could see the scheme operating from there in the coming weeks.
City of York Council selected TIER as the sole operator because of the company’s pioneering approach to safety, responsible operations and sustainability. TIER is the first climate-neutral micro-mobility provider and has introduced industry-leading swappable battery technology. Every scooter in York will have a swappable battery, which teams of TIER employees on e-cargo bikes can change when they run low. This dramatically reduces emissions and congestion on roads, compared to the common industry practice of using vans to collect the e-scooters and take them to be charged in a warehouse.
TIER e-scooters will be the safest on UK roads, with an integrated helmet, the largest front wheel in the market, a wider foot plate, dual suspension, a double kickstand and dual drum brakes for stable riding on uneven surfaces and conditions.
The e-scooters are also fitted with number plates, including unique IDs, which TIER has a full record of. This will ensure all rides can easily be tracked by CCTV and the police to ensure that the service is enjoyed safely and responsibly. TIER will be promoting responsible parking, with its scooters only allowed to be parked in designated bays across the city, which will be marked clearly on the road and in the TIER app.
Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport said:
“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.”
TIER UK General Manager Fred Jones said:
“We are excited to be offering York residents and visitors a more sustainable way of travelling around the city, as people get to grips with new ways of navigating during Covid-19.
“Our e-scooters can bring great benefits to the city, including reducing air pollution and congestion. We look forward to rolling out more e-scooters in coming months.”
Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnership and Engagement at the University of York said:
“Sustainability is at the heart of the University's principles. To be at the forefront of this pilot, and work with the City of York Council and TIER on the scheme, is a great opportunity for us as well as the wider city of York.
“Our sustainable transport plan is ever evolving and we will continue to support new and diverse transport options in the future.”
York will be the 80th city in Europe where TIER is operating, and the company’s growth has seen it reach consistent profitability since June 2020. The company was able to maintain its operations across Europe throughout the initial lockdown and has reduced vehicle charging costs by 90% in the last 12 months thanks to its swappable battery technology.