New research published by operator Voi and Women In Transport reveals that 79% of women feel unsafe riding a shared e-scooter due to a lack of appropriate infrastructure.
Other findings show 83% of women strongly agreed that drivers’ and other road users’ attitudes towards e-scooter riders was a barrier to using shared e-scooters.
90% of women strongly agreed they were confident riding an e-scooter in the day-time, but only 64% at night-time; while 83% think docking stations can be a barrier to riding if not located in safe and useful areas.
The research was reviewed and analysed by an independent Gender Equity Commission for shared e-scooters and relates not only to Voi but to the sector as a whole.
Voi worked with Women In Transport to bring together a number of experts to form the Gender Equity Commission, including participants from C40, the International Transport Forum (ITF), Women In Mobility and Open Inclusion.
From the research, the Commission has laid out a number of recommendations. These include getting local and national governments to place the development of infrastructure and reallocation of road-space in our cities at the heart of their mobility frameworks; getting local authorities to provide positive communications about the status of shared e-scooters in their regions; and encouraging more collaboration between local authorities and e-scooter operators to ensure local environments support night-time safety for women.
The data was collected in the form of both a questionnaire completed by nearly 500 women and five focus groups.
These findings were presented at an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Women In Transport meeting this afternoon at the House of Commons.
Voi acts on gender equity recommendations
Following the report’s findings, Voi is taking steps to address the challenges posed for women when using shared micromobility.
To help address women’s concerns about night-time riding, Voi is running a series of night-time safety events in various European cities. Voi has also signed the Mayor of London’s Women’s Night Safety Charter and invited the British Transport Police to lead a seminar for Voi employees on issues around women’s safety when travelling at night.
As e-scooter parking locations were cited as a concern for women, Voi is launching a Gender Safe Parking Standard. This will involve the technical assessment of parking locations based on agreed metrics mapped to a number of indicators relating directly to women’s safety.
Jack Samler, Voi’s General Manager for UK and Ireland, said at the APPG event today: “These actions are just the tip of the iceberg. It goes without saying that women want and deserve to feel safe when travelling.
“Ultimately, this partnership across private and public sectors is a kind of collaboration that’s going to create a transport system that works for all of us including women. So I’m really excited by this. I’m excited for our team to get stuck into taking action off the back of it.”
Jo Field, President of Women In Transport, said: “The gender gap in shared e-scooter use deserves considerable attention from the micromobility sector, and anyone else concerned with gender equity in transport and the urban realm.
“We are delighted to have partnered with Voi on this research, and to have helped develop a robust set of recommendations to move the sector forward.”
The research follows Voi’s announcement last week that it has launched a new e-scooter safety campaign to educate users about responsible riding.