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In a major first, Lille welcomes two giants of micromobility

Unlike Paris and other major cities, the Lille Metropolitan Area (MEL) is rolling out the red carpet for self-service transport operators. Last March, the MEL put out a call to the towns and cities in the conurbation to set up self-service scooters and bicycles. The decision was taken quickly, given the success of the service following a lengthy trial in Roubaix. Driven out of many French cities, including Paris following the reform introduced by the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, self-service electric mobility operators have not said their last word. Find out in this article how two giants of micromobility will be able to offer their services to the residents of the MEL.

Already a resounding success

Following the huge success of Roubaix, which experimented for over a year with a self-service bicycle and scooter service offered by Tier Mobility, the local authorities and operators were very pleased with the results. The town councils and operators were very satisfied with the results, and expressed their desire to extend access to this service to other municipalities in the MEL that so wished.

After numerous surveys, according to the MEL, no fewer than 68 of the 98 municipalities have expressed a wish to test the service. But not everyone will be on the same footing. To be able to roll out this service, Lille Metropole has appointed two operators, Tier and Lime, with one-year authorisations renewable a maximum of twice.

Today, the MEL is rolling out micro-mobility services across its territory. These are innovative solutions that enable us to respond to environmental challenges. We will be vigilant to ensure that these services are respectful of everyone, off the pavement.

Let’s break it down:

According to the MEL, around 44 municipalities have expressed an interest in hosting electrically-assisted scooters and bicycles, and around 24 municipalities only want electrically-assisted bicycles.

Here is a list of the municipalities that will be hosting electric scooters and bikes from June:

  • Armentières
  • La Chapelle d’Armentières
  • Croix
  • Roubaix
  • Tourcoing
  • Hem
  • Leers
  • Lys-Lez-Lannoy
  • Lannoy
  • Mouvaux
  • Neuville-en-Ferrain
  • Houplines
  • Erquinghem-Lys
  • Wasquehal
  • Villeneuve d’Ascq (Breucq-Babylone)
  • Wattrelos.

“The stations will be pooled and the operators’ technical tools (GPS in each vehicle and geolocated stations) will make it possible to manage the filling rate of the stations and keep users informed of this rate”, says Lille Metropole. The first installations will take place between now and June, and then everywhere from the end of 2023.

Strict zones

A very precise set of specifications has been drawn up by the Metropolis, however, setting out rules to avoid any incidents:

  • Firstly, the speed limit for all electric bikes and scooters will be 20 km/h. In certain areas, notably town centres, bikes and scooters will be restricted to 8 km/h. However, in parks, squares, near schools or pedestrian areas, self-service vehicles will be banned thanks to a GPS restriction that will prevent the vehicle from being deactivated in these areas. “The aim is not to prohibit, but to regulate”, said MEL in a press release.
  • The second point is respect for parking zones: spaces will logically be made available to keep things tidy. Users have no choice but to leave their vehicle in these zones, as dedicated and compulsory parking spaces are identified via the application. These zones make it possible to stay safe, but if a vehicle is badly positioned or badly parked off the pavement, the user will see the meter continue to run, adding to the bill.
  • Thirdly, operators will be asked to encourage the use of helmets and to raise awareness of road safety. In addition, electric scooters will be banned for children under the age of 12, with most operators generally opening up rental to those aged 16 and over. As you can see, there’s bound to be some action in the north of France this summer…