Rochdale Borough Council has selected Lime, the world’s largest and most experienced micromobility provider, to conduct its upcoming e-scooter test.
Lime was selected through an extensive selection process, with RBC particularly impressed with the local knowledge and experience of the provider and industry leading Generation 4 e-scooter hardware. Lime’s planned community investment and engagement initiatives, including the establishment of a Lime Community Hub offices in Rochdale city center and the provision of unlimited travel to key Rochdale employees as part of their global Lime Aid initiative were also welcomed.
The e-scooter test aims to make it easier for local residents to connect to transportation hubs and key locations, and to reduce reliance on cars for short journeys, which currently account for around half of journeys in the Rochdale district. The trial will initially cover Rochdale city center before extending outward to areas such as Castleton and Milnrow, with other performance-based expansions from Heywood and Littleborough. The duration is up to 12 months, with the option of an extension of 6 months, subject to the guidelines of the Ministry of Transport.
In close collaboration with Rochdale Borough Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, Lime will initially bring 100 scooters to market before expanding the service to up to 500 scooters if there is sufficient demand. A step-by-step approach is used to minimize potential problems related to antisocial behavior and abuse and to ensure that Rochdale residents get the maximum benefit from them.
Cllr Sara Rowbotham, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability, Rochdale Borough Council, said: “I am very excited about the start of this project. We like to do things differently here in Rochdale and this program is a new transportation option for people that helps reduce car journeys and make it easier for people to enjoy all that Rochdale city center has to offer in a unique way.
“Lime’s world-class technology is designed to ensure that safety is paramount, speed is limited, and people are unable to get lost. Discounts for frontline employees and low wage earners are also very important to us. So I am delighted that these users can access this system at minimal cost. ”
Conor Chaplin, Transportation for Greater Manchester’s Innovation Strategy Officer, said:
“E-scooters have already achieved great success in other countries and we are happy to support another e-scooter test in Greater Manchester. The Rochdale process is the second of its kind in the region and yet another example of Greater Manchester’s willingness to embrace future mobility. It will further support our regional transport goals set out in the recently updated Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040, such as reducing traffic congestion, improving our air purification and improving connectivity with public transport hubs.
E-scooters have been hugely successful in many other countries around the world and we are already beginning to see the benefits they bring to Greater Manchester residents. We know people want to start using e-scooters to get around, and they can be a stepping stone to encourage people to use fewer cars for shorter, local trips. We worked closely with Rochdale Borough Council on this project and consulted key stakeholders such as the Greater Manchester Police Department, local council members and vision loss groups. This, along with the use of high-precision geofences and a proactive approach to system management, puts us in a strong position to start and ensure the system has a positive impact on Rochdale residents. We will collect evidence and data during the Rochdale and Salford trials to better understand the future impact of micromobility on our transportation network. “
Alan Clarke, Limes Director of Politics and Government for Northern Europe, said, “We are proud to launch our Rochdale e-scooter service, building on our existing presence in the Greater Manchester area and with Rochdale Borough Council and Transport for, Greater Manchester is working together to help build a connected and sustainable Rochdale. Our Gen4 e-scooters are safe, socially distant, and sustainable, and we know Rochdale residents will love them. “
Lime e-scooters can be rented to residents with a temporary or full driver’s license and cost £ 1 to unlock and 15p per minute to drive. Even declared lower-income users can get a 50% discount on all rides through Lime’s Access Initiative, while key employees travel for free thanks to Lime’s Lime Aid policy, which has already offered over 13,000 free rides to Frontline employees across the UK. Local residents can also use Lime scooters to travel to and from their COVID-19 vaccine appointments for free through Lime’s Ride to Recovery program to ensure vaccination centers are accessible to all.
Scooters will be limited to a maximum speed of 12 mph across the Rochdale test area to ensure they are used responsibly. Lime employs a 25-person local operations team to manage and ensure the service on a daily basis. Scooters are parked in designated parking areas and regularly refurbished between uses. E-scooters are limited to the designated test zone through the use of high-precision GPS tracking on each scooter, which means that zones with slow speed and zones without driving can also be used. When a user has finished their trip, the scooters must be parked in the designated parking zones, which are marked in the Lime mobile app.
Lime is also working with RBC and TfGM to launch “First Ride” safety events as part of the test launch. Rochdale residents can also access free e-scooter training materials on the Lime app and online driving school in collaboration with road safety experts, the AA, via their UK e-scooter.
Rochdale is Lime’s newest service to be announced in Greater Manchester. The successful Salford program – in partnership with Salford City Council, TfGM, the University of Salford, and MediaCityUK – has safely performed more than 20,000 trips for 9,000 users since its late launch last year.