E-scooter cos hike prices as demand rises in Israel
17 August 2020 - globes
Since the end of lockdown Lime, Bird and Wind report increased use as people prefer to avoid public transport.
Since the end of Covid-19 lockdown, use of electric scooter rentals in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities has risen sharply as people prefer to avoid crowded public transport. Wind says that electric-scooter use in June was 158% higher than before the coronavirus outbreak, while Bird reports that the average journey is now 20% longer.
But as demand has risen, the pricing system has changed. When Bird, Lime and Wind launched operations in Tel Aviv in 2018 and 2019 charges were identical at all three companies - NIS 5 to rent the scooter and NIS 0.50 per minute thereafter.
Wind has hiked its riding fee to between NIS 0.85 and NIS 1 per minute but no longer charges NIS 5 to unlock the scooter, making shorter journeys cheaper and longer journeys more expensive. Wind charges NIS 20 to hire a scooter for an hour and NIS 40 to hire it for the day.
Lime still charges NIS 5 to unlock the scooter and between NIS 0.45 and NIS 0.60 per minute depending on the area. Lime charges NIS 25 to hire the scooter for the day and has a seven day package for NIS 20 and 30-day package for NIS 60, which absolves the user of the NIS 5 unlocking charge.
Bird still charges NIS 5 to unlock the scooter and NIS 0.55 per minute. Bird also has loyalty offers - silver (three rides a week), gold (five rides a week) and premium (seven rides a week) with discounts of 5%, 20% and 30% respectively.
The companies will be required by law to equip scooters with helmets from October 15. As use of electric scooters rises, the number of injuries reported by Israeli hospitals is also on the increase.