Since the start of the e-scooter trial in February 2021, Voi has numbered one million rides in Oxford. They have estimated that this has reduced CO2 emissions by 160 tonnes. Currently, there are over 68,000 riders registered in Oxford who use Voi scooters to commute to work, education, and social events.
Voi’s trial has led to more than 750 e-scooters being available around the clock. It started under the ‘Emergency Active Travel Plan’ of Oxfordshire’s County Council, to provide an alternative, socially distanced mode of transportation during the pandemic. The current extension by the government lets the trial run until May 2024. Legally, only e-scooters rented through this trial may be used in public spaces.
“Any journey that I can make shorter using a Voi scooter I will,” New College student Joe Thompson told Cherwell. “One of the main reasons I use Voi is because I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which essentially makes me not want to use up energy moving places when I’m already running on a low battery 24/7 anyway.” He explained that, unlike a bike, you do not have to lock up or exert any energy riding Voi’s.
He added that Voi becomes extremely economical with a monthly pass as it removes the unlocking cost: “Before I had the pass it would’ve been different, I’d only use it for longer rides because the ~£1 unlock fee can be quite pricey if you’re using it regularly for short rides.”
A survey by Voi among riders in Oxford found that 14.5% of its users were students. To encourage this usage, Voi provides a 20% discount to verified student riders. Wolfson College also established a six-scooter docking station in front of the College as part of its sustainable partnership programme.
A voluntary service that patrols Oxford’s streets to improve women’s security, Oxford City Angels (OCA), also works with Voi. Since the launching of OCA last year, Voi has provided four long-term rental e-scooters to the OCA. The e-scooters help volunteers patrol large areas of Oxford’s streets efficiently and quickly.
In Great Britain, there were 1,369 collisions involving e-scooters in 2022. To improve e-scooter safety, Voi will host a free in-person e-scooter safety event at Thornhill Park and Ride from 8:00 am until 2:40 pm on Saturday 29th July. Participants will get a pass worth £10 to use during the session, 15 minutes of free riding time after the event and a helmet.
Aside from safety sessions, Voi also utilises other safety features to ensure riders use the e-scooters properly. To register as a rider, you need a valid driver’s licence, be above 18, and complete a safety briefing. During certain hours, the app also requires riders to do a reaction test to raise awareness about riding while intoxicated. Additionally, Voi bans reported reckless drivers to prevent injuries.