Britain is ready to embark on a journey on electric scooters to transform transport in city centres
Imagine a city centre in England, where there are no cars, no smoke, and no noise caused by cars of all sizes.The Department of Transportation is furthering that vision with new advice on how electronic scooters and other technologies can make journeys easier, smarter, and greener.
At Voi, we've seen how riders in the UK are experimenting with electric scooters abroad, and hope to have the opportunity to try them on the STREETS of the UK as a complement to central public transport, as well as green alternatives to cars and taxis.
We will participate fully in government consultations and look forward to working closely with local authorities so that together we can find the best way to implement this new mode of transport.
Our experience in other major European cities has shown us that where electric scooters are well regulated, they encourage safe and responsible use.Electric scooters have the potential to revolutionize transportation by relieving stress on strained transportation systems and filling the gaps in current vehicle use.
Since their launch in California in September 2017, these vehicles have taken the world by storm.Millions of drivers in 626 cities in 53 countries and regions have tried out this small and interesting electric car.They try it four times faster than electric bikes.
In Europe, only three countries (Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands) have yet to adopt electric scooters.If they do not, they risk being left behind in the transport revolution, which could go a long way towards reducing congestion and pollution in urban centres.
Today's cities are facing appalling levels of air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions - with cars being the main drivers.Decarbonizing urban transport is now a priority of global, national and urban climate plans.Cities must reduce pollution, congestion and noise while meeting the transportation needs of a growing population and a modern economy.
We are at the beginning of a major shift in cities large and small.We see this in the two cities where Voi operates.In Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo has set eye-catching goals of zero diesel cars by 2024 and zero fossil fuel cars by 2030.The city is building 1,000 kilometers of bike lanes in Paris and will free up 72% of the city's parking spaces for other uses.
Oslo, Norway, aims to become Europe's first car-free city.
It has been two years since the introduction of electric scooters in Europe and we are seeing transport and municipal authorities playing an increasingly important role in the operations of scooter companies.
Germany introduced its own vehicle standards when it changed the law to allow electric scooters to cover brakes and lighting fixtures.
Paris is deciding which operators will offer its electric scooter service.Amsterdam, Rome and Turin are also planning tenders, and at least ten cities have now followed the route to bring in regulated services.
UK consultancies will consider whether helmets should be worn, whether a minimum age should be set and what insurance is required.The review will also consider whether local authorities should have more power to regulate the impact of electric scooters on public Spaces, such as where they can be parked.
At Voi, we are happy to see regulation, but we want it to be smart regulation that recognises how to use scooters and the importance of economics.
Some requirements are not economical for operators.Taking all the scooters off the street at night, for example, adds a lot to the cost.In any city, too few scooters make the operation impossible.
Cities' regulatory efforts vary: some, such as Marseille, have chosen just three licensed operators, chosen by public tender, while others have chosen more.
How electric scooters work with other transport providers is another area where close cooperation between operators and city authorities is needed.It's all about space - can they share bike lanes and bus lanes?- and how the service connects in a way that is useful to the user.
We want to see electric scooters as complementary to public transport, especially connecting thelast mile of a difficult journey.We want to do everything we can to help people continue to drive safely, especially during our most unusual moments with coronavirus.We've been able to put more electric scooters outside hospitals and help restaurants in Stockholm and Oslo deliver.
Collaboration between public transport and electric scooter operators is becoming more common, from data sharing and passenger transactions to integrated payment and mobile as a service solutions.Hamburg's Hochbahn and Voi recently formed a partnership to improve suburban travel.In the pilot phase, Hochbahn customers living in Poppenbuttel and Berne benefited from reduced fares for daily commutes (no unlock fees and reduced rates per minute).The first three months of the review concluded that the partnership had been a huge success, bringing 40,000 people to and from public transport hubs.
To maximize the potential of electric scooters, we must improve our infrastructure.In the future, there will be a need for transportation hubs, special protected lanes for electric vehicles and special lanes for autonomous driving.We need to build cities that aim to achieve Shared and sustainable mobility.
We firmly believe that micro-transportation will make our cities better.But we don't think electric scooters are a panacea.In all countries/regions where we operate, we have an ongoing dialogue with government and city officials to ensure that we bring a useful and sustainable mode of transportation to their streets.
Clear regulations are needed to promote responsible and sustainable behaviour if electric scooters are to fulfil their potential.Only then can cities take advantage of the opportunities offered by electric scooters to improve the quality of life and sustainable mobility around the world.