Bolt scooters going under wraps for winter

Bolt electric scooter in use in central Tallinn. The scooters are to disappear from the streets until next spring. Source: ERR

Taxi app Bolt is putting its rental electric scooters away for the winter, from Nov. 1, the company says.

Bolt says that the scooters will make a return some time in spring 2020, depending on the weather, according to BNS.

A competitor to Bolt, Citybee, took its own electric scooters off the streets earlier in October.

According to Bolt, customers travelled around 1.5 km around Tallinn since the service was unveiled in June. The longest single journey made was 26 km, approximately the scooters' maximum range, and the most fanatical user made 202 rental trips to a total of 87 km, Bolt says (an average journey distance of a little over 400 meters-ed.).

Both Bolt and Citybee scooters were accessible via an app, in Bolt's case the same one used in its taxi hailing service, though separate from its food delivery app.

Unlocking a scooter cost €0.50 with Bolt, with a per-minute rate of €0.10. Users could leave a scooter unattended and expect to come back and find it if they did not end the trip via the app, since one scooter was linked to one phone.

Batteries lasted much of the day, with scooter collection and maintenance taking place overnight.

A common complaint was the unsuitability of the scooters to Tallinn's streets, which run the gamut in terms of maintenance and often feature curbs, drainage channels etc. which could cause obstruction.

Changes in the law were touted amid fears that the scooters were a hazard to pedestrians, though none have been carried through yet. Several minor accidents were recorded.

Bolt says it plans to equip its fleet with fatter tires next year; the company also says the scooters will be rolled out in Pärnu, Riga and also Vilnius and Kaunas, Lithuania.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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