The scooter battle for New York City is active – TechCrunch


new York, one of the industry’s most coveted common micromobility markets, has published its bid for interest in its electric scooter rider, officially launching what promises to be a competitive battle between companies battling for the possibility to operate their businesses in the city.

The city has also issued an application for expressions of interest, or “RFEI,” for companies that do provides ancillary services to the electric scooter industry, such as data aggregation and analysis, street vendors of recharges and parking lots, safe horse training courses as well as scooter collection and charging services.

New York is at the beginning of providing a new way for residents to surround and support an industry that is growing in the process. Almost every large e-scooter company – a list that includes Bird, Lime, Spin and You – in addition to a number of other lesser-known players – have planned to apply for permission, each trying to win the city with promises of best practices and their own special brand of operations. Statements sent by e-mail to TechCrunch provide a forecast of how these competitions will unfold. Companies like that Lime and You have made their experience.

“We are pleased to work with the city to create a first-class electric scooter program that prioritizes safety, accessibility and equity,” said Phil Jones, senior director for government relations at Lime, in a statement. statement by email. “As we learn to operate in global cities like LA, Chicago, Paris and Rome and even in more than a hundred cities around the world, e-scooters can help New York build a more resilient and adaptable transportation system. New Yorkers looking for new ways to get around, e-scooters will provide an ideal option for those looking to travel around the City while staying socially away. ”

You specifically pointed out his scale of knowledge in Europe as proof that it was a worthy choice.

“From its growing cycling infrastructure to its recent reimagining of public space on open roads and outdoor dining, New York is leading a national transformation of the city’s roads,” said Voi Fredrik co-founder and CEO Hjelm. “Having helped more than 50 European cities rethink their relationship with the car, we hope to make NYC our base in the United States.”

Bird has promised to prioritize equity, security, access and effective parking solutions. Spin went even further and made recommendations on what the program should look like; a tactic designed to eradicate any potential contenders.

Spin said the New York-based transportation agency has asked scooter companies to disperse into so-called equity zones and reduce the rate for low-income residents by at least 50% and provide a means to rent them out. devices without smartphones. Spin also says the program should put a stop to 2,000 scooters per vendor with only three to four companies receiving a permit. It also suggests that the city needs adaptive scooter devices, locking technology that ensures that scooters are attached to the bicycle infrastructure and that companies use a W-2 workforce with a requirement to hire locally.

The background story

The New York City Council approved in late June a bill requiring the New York Department of Transportation to create a pilot program for the operation of common electric scooters in the city. The DOT had until October to submit a call for proposals to participate in a joint e-scooter pilot program.

The pilot program is scheduled to launch by March 1, 2021. The New York City Council will continue to work with DOT to determine where to install the pilot. If the pilot program limits the service area it could prove a failure, many e-scooter companies and advocates have previously told TechCrunch.

Manhattan is off limits, leaving four other boroughs, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

Legislation proposed to allow scooters was first introduced more than two years ago. However, a pilot program was not technically feasible until April 2020 when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to legalize the use of electric scooters and accelerator-based bicycles in the state. Under state law, common scooters will not be allowed in Manhattan and a pilot program must be approved by the New York City Council before common scooter services can operate in the remaining boroughs.

The proposed local law imposes certain requirements as the pilot program is structured. Districts lacking access to existing bicycle-part programs will be given priority in determining the geographical boundaries of the pilot program. Companies that receive permits will be required to comply with operating rules, such as providing accessible scooter options.

Other battlefields

New York City is not the only major market in the world for common electric scooter companies. Several other major cities, particularly Chicago, Seattle and Paris, have completed the application process for the pilot programs and have been granted permits. Paris also had 16 companies fighting for a permit to operate scooters here. The city, after a seven-month procurement process, has granted Lime, Dott and Tier Mobility permits. Bird, which a year ago made a big bet on the French market and announced its plans to open its largest European office in Paris, has lost its offer. Bird said at the time that it wanted to employ 1,000 people by mid-2021. Bolt, Comodule, Spin, You and Wind were also denied operating permits in Paris.

August, Chicago issued permits to Bird, Lime and Spin for their second pilot program. This time around Chicago limits the use of scooters to 15 mph between 5 am and 10 pm And there are a few areas, such as the Lakefront Trail, where scooters are prohibited. Each scooter company is limited to no more than 3333 devices, of which 50% must be distributed with an equity priority area. New for the second rider is a requirement so that all electric scooters must have locks that require riders to secure the scooter to a fixed object to end their journey.

With so many big markets now decided, only a couple of big goals remain, particularly London with New York. The London Transport Agency has announced this summer that it will allow scooter companies to operate in the city. However, permits have not yet been granted. Bird, Bolt (a ridesharing startup outside of Estonia), Lime, Neuron Mobility, Tier, You and Zipp Mobility have all expressed interest in the London scooter program.

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