City of Norwich, England, to launch world’s first multi-modal micromobility service

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British micro mobility provider, Beryl, will be the world’s first provider of a city-wide multimodal smart fleet including pedal bikes, e-Bikes and e-Scooters, having been approved by the Department for Transport and Norfolk County Council to operate an e-Scooter trial in Norwich.

Beryl, which only recently added e-Bikes to its Norwich bike share scheme, was brought to the city earlier this year through the Transport for Norwich partnership as the city’s e-Scooter provider of an initial 100 scooters.

Importantly, the Beryl e-Scooters will be accessible through the same platform as their pedal and e-Bikes. Its community first and collaborative approach will give riders a safe, connected and inclusive mobility scheme with a range of smart and sustainable vehicles available for an array of journeys.

Beryl has championed the ‘hybrid’ model that incentivises riders to park in geo-fenced bays, providing the city with a high level of control over vehicles, incentivising responsible parking and ensuring a service that does not impede on the city’s social infrastructure. Currently, 94% of Beryl Bike trips in the British operators city-wide scheme in Norwich end in a ‘Beryl Bay’, and the remaining 6% of bikes that are free floating are easily redistributed to bays by Beryl’s on street team via cargo bike.

The UK’s inaugural multi-vehicle scheme will give Beryl a unique opportunity to learn how choice of vehicle types can assist members of the public across a wider range of journey types and physical abilities. This data will help inform the local authority partner as to how they can best implement wider sustainable transport plans by incorporating the right vehicle mix. This data-led strategy will allow Beryl to offer a full service micromobility partnership with authorities, advising them on how to implement and run systems that sit alongside long term public transport and environmental strategies.

Beryl will update existing parking infrastructure to allow the classic Beryl Bikes, Beryl e-Bikes and the new Beryl e-Scooters to be hired and parked in an orderly and secure manner, in line with the community’s needs. In a number of Beryl cities Beryl’s Bays include planters and seating; whilst there is the ability to add in additional modules like information boards and charging stations. They also carry forward the design language of the existing streetscape, by matching wood varieties and metal colourways.

During the 12-month trial period, e-Scooter riders will be required to provide a valid UK Driving Licence to participate and will be asked to provide feedback on their experiences using the vehicles. The purpose of the trial is to collect valuable data to ensure wider roll out of e-scooter services are as safe for and beneficial to the wider public as possible.

“We’re confident this first truly multi-modal trial will provide a great example of the future for micro mobility services everywhere,” says Philip Ellis, CEO and co founder of Beryl. “Partnership between a Local Authority and exclusive operator to deliver an inclusive system. Providing the city with bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters operating citywide and including the right mix of pleasant physical parking locations and parklets across the city.”

“We believe this mix of vehicles and infrastructure will deliver the best service possible for our local authority partner as well as the community, supporting the need for a green recovery.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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