by David Abrahams on 13 Dec 2018
This week's top 3 stories: Lime's electric bikes hit London, Berlin data protection authorities investigate Mobike, Bird's lobbying probed by newspaper.
Lime will launch its dock-less electric bikes in the London Boroughs of Ealing and Brent this week. Lime reportedly plans to deploy 1,000 e-bikes in London by the end of the year, with potentially more boroughs to follow. The London launch follows Lime's first UK launch in Milton Keynes last week.
Mobike has been singled out as a target for investigation by the Berlin Data Protection Commissioner, which is conducting a more general review of the regulatory compliance of car and bike sharing companies. Concerns have been raised over Mobike's compliance with a number of aspects of GDPR rules, but specifically in relation to the transfer of data to servers in China where the company is based.
British newspaper The Daily Telegraph obtained notes of meetings between Bird and Department of Transport officials following a request under the Freedom of Information Act. Unsurprisingly, the notes set out that Bird is lobbying for a change in the law to legalise electric scooters in the UK. They also reveal that Bird has identified Oxford and Cambridge as key targets for launch due to their well-developed cycling infrastructure. It was also confirmed this week that Bird is planning to meet Bristol City Council in the new year to discuss how electric scooters can contribute to the Council's transport plans. The only surprising element of this story is that a journalist is going to the trouble of using a Freedom of Information request to obtain details of this rather predictable lobbying.
This is a weekly note covering the top three developments in the regulation of on-demand transport in Europe. It covers taxis, ride-sharing, car sharing, carpooling, bikes, e-bikes, scooters, shared mopeds and anything else that's relevant to the sector. If you'd like to receive this direct to your inbox then please enter your email address below:
David’s is an experienced public affairs practitioner with a background in competition regulation and a particular focus on technology, mobility, telecoms and internet infrastructure. He leads Inline's mobility practice.
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