Voi is celebrating its first anniversary in Northampton today as a recent survey shows two-thirds of people think e-scooters have improved travel.
Since the trial began, the total number of rides have surpassed 570,000, with 930,000 miles travelled on e-scooters around the region. Voi estimates its 30,000 active riders have replaced around 200,000 short car journeys, which has helped improve air quality by preventing over 105 tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide emissions (Co2e) from entering the atmosphere.
On average, one-in-three riders have car replaced their car journeys in Northampton, showing shared micromobility has become a reliable piece of the transport mix as nearly 60% of riders surveyed say they ‘Voi’ every day or at least a few times a week. Importantly for nearly half of Voi riders, sustainability and affordability are two of the biggest reasons they use an e-scooter.
Voi has worked closely with the local police and the council throughout the trial to innovate and improve safety for riders, pedestrians and vulnerable road users, such as investing in new parking bays and racks to minimise clutter, introducing the ‘end of ride’ photo feature to incentivise good parking and the report a scooter page where everyone can report a Voi e-scooter.
During the lockdown, Voi offered free rides to NHS staff and key emergency workers, and nearly 45,000 rides were taken for free in the region with 900 users taking advantage of the full discount. Voi is continuing to offer discounted rides to vaccination centres and to provide discounts for students and those on a low income.
The region was Voi’s first and largest fleet of e-scooters on UK streets after being selected to run an exclusive trial across Northampton by Northamptonshire County Council.
Councillor Phil Larratt, West Northamptonshire Council’s portfolio holder for climate, transport, highways and waste said: “It’s great news that the scooter trial has reached its first anniversary and, with over 30,000 active users in the town, is clearly continuing to prove extremely popular with the people of Northampton.
“Tackling climate change and connecting our communities better are key priorities for our council so it’s really encouraging to see from this latest survey how residents are reaping real benefits from this innovative trial, by finding it easier to get around and reducing their car journeys.
“We understand there are some concerns from residents around the scheme, such as safety and abandonment of scooters and these are a key focus for us as we continue to work closely with Voi and the local police on addressing these issues. This includes an ongoing series of safety events where people can learn more about the scooters, try them out and get top tips for driving them safely.”
Jack Samler, general manager at Voi UK and Ireland, added: “Northampton holds an important place in Voi’s heart as it was the first town where we launched our e-scooters.
“Transforming the cities we live in is our number goal by encouraging people to leave their cars behind in favour of sustainable, safe, and carbon-neutral transport. We’ve helped thousands of people in the region make more environmentally-friendly choices by working closely with the local council and communities to embrace micromobility as part of everyday life, such as for work, running errands, or visiting friends and family.
“At Voi, we are delighted to be working with North Northamptonshire Council, and we look forward to seeing further progress being made in changing the way we move around our cities and towns to create healthier places to live.”