LINK by Superpedestrian scooters launch in Bordeaux

Superpedestrian’s fleet of LINK shared e-scooters in Bordeaux, France is our eighth country service. But with eight providers already in play, does the city really need another e-scooter operator?

What comes to mind when you think of Bordeaux? Wine? Museums? Architecture? What about sustainable tourism? Eco-friendly urban transport? A wealth of shared micromobility options?

The answer should be: all of the above!

Huddled around its crescent-shaped “Port of the Moon,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007, the city of Bordeaux sits on the Garrone river. Locals and visitors can experience what’s known as “l’art de vivre bordelais” (the art of living in Bordeaux) by enjoying the city’s gastronomic scene through the many eateries and markets that line its streets and squares.

In addition to its signature lifestyle, world-famous wines, museums, and Enlightenment-era buildings, Bordeaux boasts an impressive commitment to sustainable development and mobility. An extensive public transportation system and nearly 1,500 km of cycling paths are evidence of a mission to create a safe, smart and sustainable city.

Bordeaux recently entered the “Sustainable & Innovative Destination” certification process, an initiative of France Congrès événements & tourisme. The city will be evaluated based on eight “challenges,” one of which focuses on sustainable transport.

Bordeaux took one step closer to meeting that challenge in October with the introduction of 100 LINK e-scooters from Superpedestrian, becoming the city’s ninth e-scooter operator.

Supporting communities of all sizes

With eight e-scooter operators already established in Bordeaux (a city of 250,000 people), did the city really need another provider?

“That was what we were asked when we launched in Rome, in Lisbon, in Vienna — in each place, we were joining a city with many other long-established micromobility providers,” says Lara Perez, an urban planner at Superpedestrian who helps design strategy for our partner cities across Europe. “The answer comes from our riders. In Lisbon, riders travelled 100,000km on LINK scooters in the first four weeks after we launched. In Vienna, riders exceeded more than 1m km on our scooters in just five months. Clearly, people see and feel the difference with our safe, sturdy scooter and they choose to ride LINK scooters instead of the many other available options. Bordeaux is likely to be no different.”

Safety, sustainability and accessibility

Bordeaux might not be new to micromobility, but it is to Superpedestrian’s particular blend of leading-edge tech and community-centered operations. The LINK scooters in Bordeaux are the company’s first on French soil, while France is our eighth country globally to go live, and our sixth in Europe — all since July 2020. It’s been quite the whirlwind ride!

“I’m delighted to bring Superpedestrian’s superior technology and service to the citizens of Bordeaux,” comments Haya Verwoord Douidri, VP (Global market development, policy and strategy) at Superpedestrian. “We opened our first shared fleet in Europe just 12 months ago. Bordeaux marks our sixth country in Europe and our 32nd city on the Continent. It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I look forward to serving French cities with our safe, accessible and sustainable service.”

To celebrate our first launch in France, Bordelais riders can enjoy special discounts all month long. Market-leading promotions include free unlocks until 30 October 2021, and bonuses from Superpedestrian when topping up the in-app wallet: load €5, get an additional €5 free; load €10, get €15 free; and load €15, get €30 free!

“We carefully balance the need to be financially sustainable with our vision of unlocking sustainable mobility for as many people as possible — and rider promotions help make shared micromobility more affordable,” explains Steven Hodgson, Marketing Manager (EMEA) at Superpedestrian. “Across Europe this year, we’ve also offered free rides for World Car Free Day, free rides for healthcare workers and free rides to COVID-19 vaccination centres. Shortly, we will also be releasing passes, which will help lower our per-ride costs for those choosing to commute with us. To really revolutionise transport, we won’t be leaving anyone behind.”

The fleet in Bordeaux is serviced by electric vans to minimize environmental impact, which is important to Superpedestrian as a 100% carbon neutral company, and to the city of Bordeaux as a certified “Sustainable & Innovative Destination” .

Safety is another important factor for both parties. Challenge 8 of the certification requires close attention to public safety, a matter that lies at the heart of Superpedestrian’s novel Pedestrian Defense technology. Pedestrian Defense is the first technology in the world to detect and correct poor riding behavior in real-time, preventing footpath riding. The system is currently being tested across North America and Europe, ready for full-scale operation in France in 2022.

What’s next for Superpedestrian in France?

“When we launched in Italy, in September 2020, we promised steady, sustainable growth across the country,” Haya says. “We are now operating in 14 cities across Italy, from large cities like Rome to tiny coastal towns like Silvi. We’re supporting communities in places with 4m residents and with 15,000 residents. We want to do the same across France.”

According to Alain Rousseau, Corporate Affairs Director (France) at Superpedestrian, Bordeaux is the perfect place to start Superpedestrian’s French voyage.

“It’s a good thing to open in Bordeaux, because it shows France how Superpedestrian operates,” he says. “There are many micromobility companies working in France but none have the safety technology, the community focus and the commitment to sustainability of Superpedestrian. French people deserve the best when it comes to this new form of transport — and finally, they have it.”

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