Pilot electric scooter starts 1 November with Citysteps, on the initiative of hospitality entrepreneur Jaap van Ham in cooperation with Citymarketing Tilburg.
Tilburg, October 24, 2019
From November 1, Tilburg has a national first: the city is the first municipality in the Netherlands to launch the e-scooter. This electric means of transport is currently conquering in several European cities. They provide, among others, Lisbon and Paris with a fast, sustainable and affordable way to travel through the city. The arrival of the e-scooter is a collaboration between hospitality entrepreneur Jaap van Ham (including Doloris), Citymarketing Tilburg and Citysteps B.V., a rental company of e-scooters. The launch starts with a pilot that runs until March 21st and consists of 20 scooters with a detachable battery.
Jaap van Ham explains: “Tilburg is leading in many things. As an entrepreneur, I want to keep that lead of course. When I first saw the e-scooters, I just had to bring them to Tilburg. Such a first fits exactly with the experimental character of the city”. Van Ham drew up the basic plan himself, after which he joined forces with Teun Verschuren, co-owner, and founder of Citysteps. “Teun is young, ambitious and could immediately accelerate. Together with Citymarketing, we then made the plan concrete”. Citymarketer Ben Smit: “In Tilburg, we are always looking for innovative ways to make our city more liveable, attractive, sustainable and accessible. For example, the municipality intends to ease the traffic pressure on the city ring road. In time, pedestrians and cyclists must be given priority over cars. In addition, the mobility wishes of residents, students and tourists will change. People want to be able to move around the city in a more pleasant, accessible and greener way. Think of inhabitants of the Reeshof who want to be connected to the city center in an even smarter way or tourists who want to explore the city. Together with Jaap van Ham and Citysteps, we want to accelerate this decisively and on our own initiative. We believe that the e-scooter can meet these needs”. Safe, secure and comfortable
Verschuren: “The scooters you see in a number of large European cities are not yet allowed in the Netherlands. Because we didn’t want to wait for the green light, we started looking for a good alternative. The scooter we are now going to launch in Tilburg is legal, can be insured and is also more comfortable than its smaller brother. In terms of riding comfort, it looks like a bicycle and you have to be at least sixteen years old to be allowed to ride it”. Van Ham complements: “The scooter goes at a maximum speed of 20 km/h and can therefore easily keep up with the traffic flow on the Tilburg cycle paths”. Roll out multiple e-scooters for success
The initiators are proud that Tilburg has the scoop. Verschuren: “Various Dutch cities are currently showing interest in our product. Here in Tilburg, however, the lines are short, so we were able to get it off the ground quickly and efficiently. The pilot fits in with our company philosophy: we do not operate independently, but rather together with local partners. They know the city and the infrastructure. Van Ham sees a permanent place for e-scooters in Tilburg’s streetscape in the future: “We want to roll it out more widely in the long term. Think of 100 or 200 e-scooters spread across the city”. Verschuren continues: “This involves several collection and return points at hotels, educational institutions and tourist attractions in the Tilburg area, among others. So they will not – like in Paris, for example – just stand on the street. Our approach counteracts vandalism”. “We do indeed have the ambition to increase the number of scooters over time,” Smit agrees. “We are in discussion with various stakeholders in the city that also want to offer them. There is sufficient support.” Test phase with a tourist package
Tilburg’s broader mobility issue will only be addressed in the next phase of the roll-out. A pilot will be launched in the form of a specially created arrangement aimed at day-trippers from within and outside the city. A step-by-step route along a number of tourist highlights of the city, starting and ending at the rooftop bar and art maze Doloris. Smit: “The 20 electric two-wheelers are stationed at the entrance to Doloris and can be picked up daily from 10:00 am. From here the route goes via the cycle path along the station to the Spoorpark. Then over the university grounds to the Oude Warande where coffee and cake are ready for you at Grotto. After this, the route goes to Piushaven where lunch is served at Villa Pastorie. The way back goes through the center and the Dwaalgebied to Doloris where the scooters have to be handed in at 15:00 pm at the latest. After a drink in the rooftop bar, the e-scooter arrangement is over. The complete package will cost €49,50”. Start-up pilot on 1 November
On Friday November 1st the first e-scooter arrangement will be driven by the initiators and stakeholders from the city. They leave at 11:00 am to ride a part of the route. By doing so, they give the starting signal for the pilot. There are four e-scooters available for journalists who want to join this first trip. If you are interested, please contact Ben Smit. Van Ham concludes: “With this Tilburg initiative, we show the all of the Netherlands the possibilities of a new kind of scooter sharing concept. Sustainable, safe and fun from A to B, that’s what we’re aiming for. Whatever the purpose.
The e-scooter packages can be booked from Friday 1 November via www.citysteps.eu/huren.