Cars on the road with just the driver are “absurd,” according to Henri Moissinac, co-founder and CEO of Dott.
The micromobility company which operates shareable e-scooters and a new range of e-bikes, has launched a new project designed to highlight the potential space savings on London’s streets if people switched to cycling.
The project saw Dott riders on the streets of Hammersmith with specially designed car frames attached to their bikes, to demonstrate how a single-occupancy car journey can take up the same room on the road as four cyclists.
“Our latest project highlights the absurdity of single drivers hogging the capital’s roads, when other forms of transport are openly available and so much better for both the individual and the community. It’s time we reimagined how we travel across our cities, which is why we’re here to unlock London with clean rides for everyone,” said Moissinac
“Our car frame idea was inspired by our mission to create cities which are centred around people, not cars. Motorists, particularly in single-occupancy vehicles, take up a huge amount of room on our streets. If we can convince even a small percentage of drivers to switch to cycling, we can help our cities become more pleasant and cleaner places to be.”
A large part of the problem, in Dott’s view, is that almost two-thirds of car trips in London have just one person in the car.
According to the company, taking just 20,000 cars off of London’s roads would open up space for 80,000 bikes. Similarly, it would also open up around 88 kilometres of roadway — more than the length of the capital’s north and south circular roads combined.
Dott also reckons that taking 20,000 cars off the roads constitutes a modest target considering that there are some 2.64 million motors registered on the capital’s streets.
However, Dott thinks that its newly launched e-bikes, in addition to its existing e-scooters, could make a significant difference to London’s roads.
“Following the successful introduction of our e-scooters, our latest fleet of e-bikes offer a safe, affordable, sustainable and effortless journey. In the coming weeks, we’ll be collaborating with boroughs to expand our fleet across the city to help Londoners unlock their city and everything it has to offer,” said Moissinac.
Dott launched its bikes in London’s Hammersmith and Fulham borough and plans to expand the service across the capital in the coming weeks. The bikes cost £1 to unlock and riders are charged 17p per minute.
Lime e-bikes, by contrast, cost £1 to unlock at 23p per minute. HumanForest’s e-bikes, meanwhile, have a slightly more complex payment system. They’re free to unlock and riders get the first 10 minutes free, with every subsequent minute costing 15p. However, parking the bike outside of a designated “Green Bay” will see you pay an extra £1.50, while parking outside of “the Forest” (essentially suburban London) will see you incur a penalty fine.
London’s Santander Cycle hire costs £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes within 24 hours. Each subsequent £30 minutes will cost you an extra £2.
This wide range of options has seen Londoners really take to cycling in recent years. In 2011, just 2.5% of commutes in London were by bike. However, following the pandemic and the introduction of Cycle Superhighways and street closures, cycling has become a far more popular way of travelling.
“It’s noticeable that more Londoners are embracing cycling in recent years, as they discover the benefits to their health and the planet of travelling in the open air. Feeling safe is the main hurdle for people to try cycling for the first time, and the increase of cycle lanes across the city is helping to give people the confidence to try using a bike. Continued investment in this infrastructure will be key to maintaining the growth in use of micromobility that we’ve seen recently,” said Moissinac.
Adding another option for Londoners to use — especially one that undercuts the ubiquitous Lime bikes — will certainly give Londoners even less of a reason to take their cars. Plus, with 100% of the capital’s residents living in an area that exceeds the World Health Organization’s pollution limits, the new bikes could have benefits for everyone.
“Anything that gives attention to sustainable modes of transport is important in terms of encouraging people to switch from their old habits, and consider a new way to get around their cities in a safe, efficient and fun way,” said Moissinac.