Q&A: Everything you need to know about York’s new e-scooters

Photograph: Ben Gurr / Tier
21 Oct 2020 @ 8.09 am
| Transport

The e-scooters are here – and ready to roll.

We gave one of the Tier e-scooters a roll on their launch in York yesterday (Tuesday) – see how they fared in our video report.

Battery powered, they are a new and climate-friendly way to get around congested York. So how does it work?

Here is a Q&A about the new scooters.

How do I hire one?

You have to download the Tier app for your phone, and link it to a payment card. Then you use the app to scan a scooter’s QR code, and you are set to ride.

What does it cost?

It costs £1 to unlock an e-scooter and 15p per minute to ride.

Can anyone ride one?

No. A rider has to possess a full or provisional driving licence, which they validate through the app.

When and where are they available?

There are 50 scooters in the initial trial. They can be found near Clifford’s Tower, on Piccadilly and at the University of York. You can hire them 24 hours a day.

What safety measures are in place?

The scooters travel at a maximum speed of 12.5mph. They are limited by ‘geofencing’ – this restricts the areas where the scooters can be used and prevents the user from ending the hire anywhere outside the approved hub locations.

Each scooter comes with a helmet, and is fitted with lights and a bell.

The scheme is insured. If there is an accident and it is the rider’s fault, third party insurance applies.

What if they end up in the river?

The scooters are locked and lightweight, which means they could end up anywhere.

But they can be found and recovered, says Fred Jones, Tier’s general manager: “Firstly they are all waterproof. They have location sensors on them so we know if it’s [gone into the river] and we work with a company to get them out.”

Will they terrorise pedestrians on the footstreets?

No. This is where the geofencing controls come in. “You won’t be able to use them in the pedestrianised city centre streets – they will slow down so much that they will have to be pushed,” says Fred.

What happens if a rider breaks the rules?

People can also be fined and get six points on their licence for breaking the rules – including using the e-scooter on the pavement.

Each scooter is fitted with lights and its own licence plate number. Anyone who spots someone breaking the rules can report them to a dedicated phone line or email address – which could see that person banned.

What next?

Just 50 scooters are now, as the company says it wants to roll out the service slowly so that any issues can be resolved.

If successful the scheme could see up to 1,000 e-scooters made available and up to 350 parking spots across the city.

City of York Council is monitoring the year-long trial, and welcomes feedback.

  • Additional reporting: Chloe Laversuch, York local democracy reporter
  • Have you got any questions that we’ve not covered? Add them in the comments or send them to [email protected] and we’ll put them to Tier and / or City of York Council