Riders using shared e-scooters as part of the UK government’s trial are predominantly male (71%) and under the age of 35 (74%), according to the first national evaluation of the e-scooter trials by the Department for Transport (DfT).
The DfT also looked at the profile of more regular users, which it defines as renting an e-scooter at least three or four times a week. Overall, 77% of regular users were men.
The data was collected from July 2020 when the trials started to the end of December 2021.
Zag Daily spoke with Voi, which has the largest e-scooter footprint in the UK, to understand what the shared operator has been doing to tackle ridership inequality over the past 12 months.
“At Voi, we have taken an industry-leading approach over the last 12 months in making the industry more inclusive by working collaboratively with Women in Transport and the Gender Equity Commission to develop a deep understanding of all the issues and nuances preventing women from riding,” said Voi’s Grace Packard, Senior Policy Manager for UK and Ireland.
“This has led to the development of Voi’s ‘Gender Safe Parking Standard’ which ensures we tackle this issue at an operational level. We have also delivered women-only safety events in the UK and product improvements can be seen on our pioneering Voiager 5 e-scooter, which is ergonomically designed to make it easier for women to use.”
Speaking with Lime’s Alan Clarke, Senior Director of Policy in Northern and Eastern Europe, he said that, as with any new technology innovations, adoption takes place at different stages across society.
“Younger generations are often the first to adopt, with others following,” said Clarke. “E-scooters are still fairly ‘new’, but we’re already seeing this process begin to take place. As e-scooters become more and more part of daily life, we expect usage levels to even out across all demographics.”
To help make Lime’s vehicles more accessible, the operator has set up a Lime Access initiative giving a 50% discount on e-bike and e-scooter rides to Access users. In London, those with a 60+ Oyster Card can benefit, while in Manchester there is the Women’s Concessionary Travel Scheme.
The data was based on a demographic survey sent to 191,092 registered users which had a 14% response rate, as well as a user survey of 6,864 users.