The Dutch micro-mobility company Dott launched its e-bike and electric scooter service in Estepona on 1 August and so far they have a "really excellent" result, according to Gerard Sellarès, head of Dott in Spain.
"They have exceeded our expectations, which were already high. If we look at the metrics of each vehicle, we find that it is four trips per day, which is a lot for a start". In August alone, 6,600 unique ridrers were recorded, travelling an average of 1.7 kilometres in 12 minutes. In total, more than 12,000 trips were recorded.
The success of Dott in Estepona, which also launched in Malaga city last year, according to Sellarès, can be attributed to two factors. "The first has been the welcome from the people of Estepona and the tourists. The other is the facilities provided by the town hall, which has allowed us to install forty parking points, which helps users a lot by making it easier for them to find a bike or scooter when they need one, or to park nearby when they arrive at their destination.”
Although scooters are not allowed in the pedestrianised areas of Estepona town centre, Sellarès acknowledges that "the proposals to isolate traffic in the centre" contribute, as in other cities around the world, to the success of his proposal. "Giving pedestrians wings and getting them to abandon the private car may lead them to more sustainable and convenient forms of mobility," he acknowledged.
Dott currently has 111 vehicles in use and around 50 per cent are bikes. Users have to finish their journeys at designated points and for Sellarès this means that "there is 95 percent compliance and those who do not do so are fined”. He adds that “those fined have not re-offended". There have been no episodes of vandalism, like in Málaga, which is almost non-existent. "In Estepona we haven't lost a single vehicle," he says.
When asked about Dott expanding to other parts of the Costa del Sol, Sellarès recognises that it is not easy. "In Marbella we have spoken to the town hall and at the moment they don't seem to want to regulate this type of service. The characteristic of our service is the occupation of public space, so if a town hall does not give authorisation for shared mobility vehicles, we cannot launch it. This is happening in many cities in Spain, such as Barcelona, Valencia or Palma de Mallorca. It is not because of political predisposition, but because they are regulating and they want to do it right".