Salford City Council has extended the Lime e-scooter trial until May 2024, following the success of the scheme.
US-based micromobility operator Lime recently hit 430,000 e-scooter riders in Salford, with 270,000 of those being recorded in the past 12 months alone.
The city’s e-scooter trial, which is being run in partnership with the Department for Transport and Transport for Greater Manchester, will now run until May 2024, having launched in October 2020.
Hal Stevenson, senior public affairs manager for Lime UKI said: “We’ve really enjoyed working with Salford City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester. Residents have truly embraced e-scooters into their daily lives and this is a step in the direction as we look to take more cars off roads.
“E-scooters are becoming an integral part of Greater Manchester’s sustainable transport infrastructure more broadly too. As public confidence in the scheme continues to grow , we’re looking forward to continuing to develop Lime’s presence in the community.”
Research from the University of Salford’s Healthy Active Cities project revealed that 68% of respondents believe that there should be an e-scooter hire scheme across Greater Manchester, and 59% believe the scheme will make the area a more attractive place to live.
The research also highlighted how Greater Manchester residents are beginning to integrate e-scooters into their daily lives, and have started to replace journeys that would have otherwise been made from another mode of transport. 67% of Lime users responding to the survey reported having used e-scooters for a journey that they would have usually made using another mode of transport (excluding walking), and almost half (49%) of riders report having used e-scooters instead of a car (private or taxi + ride hailing).
The study found that 4 out of 10 riders (38%) are using e-scooters to connect with public transport, and some have turned to e-scooters as an option when public transport is unavailable such as travelling to and from shift work. The study is the first of its kind and the largest study on e-scooters in the UK to date, with over 2,400 survey responses, 49 one-on-one interviews, and 13 focus groups.
Nicola Kane, head of strategic planning, research and innovation at Transport for Greater Manchester said: “The trial has provided an opportunity for Greater Manchester to be at the forefront of transport innovation, providing insights into how shared e-scooters can contribute to the Bee Network vision and help achieve our strategic goals set out in the 2040 Transport Strategy. This report provides us with a detailed evidence base to help evaluate the future role of shared e-scooters in Greater Manchester.”
Dr Graeme Sherriff, Co-Director / Sustainable Housing & Urban Studies Unit and Research Fellow at the University of Salford, said: “We’ve found it really interesting to look at the ways in which people are building e-scooters into their travel routines. People value the ability to pick up an e-scooter to make a short journey, and then drop them off on arrival. Our report highlights challenges, not least perceptions of risk in busy traffic and in shared use areas. It therefore adds to the evidence base supporting the provision of more high quality infrastructure for walking, cycling and scooting.”
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Lime has launched its Lime ‘Access’ scheme last year to provide eligible riders including concession pass holders, key workers, students and jobseekers, with unlimited 50% discounted rides across all of Lime’s UK services. It has also partnered with the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, with Lime’s ‘Hero’ donation platform allowing riders to round up the cost of their rider to the nearest £1 and donate the difference to fight homelessness in Greater Manchester.