Micromobility operator Voi has reached the 10 million e-scooter journey milestone in the West of England, the most popular scheme in the UK.
It is the first time an e-scooter rental trial operator has achieved the mark in the country.
The company began operating in Bristol and Bath in October 2020 and has expanded to almost the whole of the West of England region – about 60 square miles in total.
Senior Operations Manager for Voi UK James Timmins told Zag Daily that the experience of the scheme helped develop the company’s operations throughout the continent.
“We have taken the learning and experience to hone our operations, constantly reviewing practises and processes, equipping staff with the right training and tools to do the job and liaising closely with colleagues across the business to make sure we’re providing the service requested by the cities we serve.”
To reach the 10 million milestone, Timmins said the company had to balance vehicle and parking availability.
“We’ve had to use a combination of creating the right mandatory parking zone density and intelligent approach to rebalancing to ensure that we are creating a system that allows for users to trust that they can start and end a ride as reliably as other alternative modes of transport.”
Voi uses data gathered from each ride to work out how many scooters are needed at which location. Then they send electric vans around the city to pick up and drop off e-scooters when necessary.
Additionally, the company manages parking through a mixture of fixed parking zones, demarcated by line markings, racks or by “geo-fencing”. This GPS technology shows riders where to park and prevents them from ending their journey in no-parking zones.
Data from e-scooters are also used by Voi’s local teams to set schedules for battery replacement, maintenance and regular servicing of e-scooters.
Voi’s West of England scheme
Nearly 350,000 people have signed up for Voi’s services in the West of England.
The company has deployed more than 4,000 e-scooters in the region, with some available for long-term hire. Riders have exclusive use of a scooter for a month at a time with customers provided with their own charging kits.
Independent economic research commissioned by Voi found that the West of England e-scooter scheme is likely to provide a boost of just under £20 million to the local economy over the course of the trial.
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “Being the first e-scooter trial to reach the significant milestone of 10 million rides shows just how popular and important e-scooters are as a sustainable form of transport for residents and visitors in Bristol.”
Kathryn Davis, Managing Director at Visit West, said: “Voi e-scooters have become a tourism experience in their own right. They have definitely opened up more areas in the region for visitors as well as locals to explore and discover new places to enjoy. This helps disperse visitors across a wider area, and spreads the economic benefit of the visitor economy.”