Electric scooters introduced in Salford last year as part of a trial are now available to ride at Media City with a wider roll out expected next month.
Lime launched its e-scooters at the University of Salford’s Peel Park and Frederick Road campuses in October, but delayed the roll out to other areas.
Since Saturday (February 20), the e-scooters have been available to rent from Salford Quays with one single route connecting the University’s campuses.
Alan Clarke, director of policy and government affairs for Lime in the UK, said the company is ‘really exciting’ to be expanding its e-scooter service in Salford.
He said: “With over 12,000 successful trips delivered to date, we’re really excited to be expanding our Salford e-scooter service to Media City, ahead of a further expansion across Salford, working closely with our partners Salford City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, next month.
“Whilst current lockdown restrictions mean that it’s important that people are only using our scooters to make essential journeys, we’re proud that this expansion allows us to provide even more local residents with a safe, socially distanced transport option to use when travel is required.”
The electric scooters, which are already widespread in other European cities such as Paris, Berlin and Rome, came to Salford as part of a year-long trial.
But the e-scooters can only be used within certain zones during the trial.
‘Geofencing’ will be used to control the speed of the e-scooters and can completely bring them to a stop should they leave the permitted areas.
Currently, the only places in Salford where the electric scooters will work are the University of Salford campuses in Peel Park, Frederick Road and MediaCityUK via a single route along Cross Lane, Trafford Road and Broadway.
The trial area was due to expand to Salford Quays by the end of October before expanding further to Ordsall and the city centre by the end of 2020.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that plans for the next phase are still being finalised, but the trial area is expected to be expanded east up to the River Irwell and west across Pendleton from next month.
The e-scooters will be available to rent through a smartphone app and can be used by anyone over the age of 18 with a provisional or full driving licence.
Riders approach a scooter and scan the QR code on the handlebars to begin.
Each scooter ride will cost £1 to unlock and 15p per minute to ride.
Unlimited free e-scooter rides are available for all key workers via the ‘Lime Aid’ scheme which has provided 10,000 free rides across the country so far.
Mr Clarke added: “We encourage all key workers with offices in Media City to use the initiative to help them commute safely.”
To sign up for Lime Aid, visit airtable.com/shr29smr46VjOOit1