US dockless e-scooter rental company Lime has launched a new service. Lime has chosen Israel as the first country in the world to try out advanced ordering of e-scooters through an app, by pre-booking it for up to 15 minutes from the time the order is made.
Tel Aviv has hundreds of e-scooters from various companies, but demand is strong, and consumers frequently find themselves with no available e-scooter near them, or with an e-scooter than cannot be ridden because the battery is flat, or because of technical malfunctions. The option of booking an e-scooter in advance streamlines the process. Lime Israel CEO Yaniv Goder says that the idea came from the consumers.
"Following feedback from the users about their need for a solution to ensure the availability of an e-scooter where it appears on the map exactly when they reach it, we created the option of ordering an e-scooter in advance. The fact that Israel was selected as the first country in the world for launching the service shows how important the Israeli market is for Lime as a technology adopting market and a leader in shared transport," Goder says.
The consumer locates an e-scooter on the map with Lime's app and then selects the e-scooter he or she wants in order to reserve it. After clicking on the reserve option, a bilingual box is opened in which the user requests verification of the request. At the end of the process, the e-scooter will be reserved for 15 minutes from the time the service is operated.
In the first stage, the service will be available only to iOS users, but the company plans to expand it later to Android users also.
Lime deployed hundreds of e-scooters in the Tel Aviv area in early February and has since extended the service to Ramat Gan. Lime followed in the wake of Bird, its US rival, which began operating in Israel in August, and Wind, which launched its service several months later. The most recent company to launch an e-scooter service is Israeli company LEO, which began operating last month.
The companies together operate over 2,000 e-scooters in Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv municipality asked all the e-scooter companies to increase their supply during the Eurovision Song Contest week to accommodate the thousands of tourists expected to visit Israel. Riding e-scooters is legally allowed from age 16, but the companies' articles of association allow use of their e-scooters only for those over 18. Although most of the riders do not use helmets, wearing helmets is required by the law, enforcement of which is inadequate.
All of the companies charge the same price for renting an e-scooter - NIS 5 for ordering a ride, plus NIS 0.50 per minute of usage.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 16, 2019
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