WECA’s one-year electric scooter rental program has been launched in Bath and Bristol
Electric scooters can now be rented in Bath and Bristol, at a trial led by WECA.
In the following 12 months, residents and visitors will be able to rent electric scooters to commute to work or travel around the city.
The new carbon-neutral scooters will also take the pressure off public transport, help people travel in socially isolated ways and leave cars behind.
The trial's operator, Voi, will create more than 60 jobs in the area during the trial, which will be co-led by the Joint Authority with Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire Councils.
Tim Bowles, the mayor of the West of England, said: "With public transport isolated from society, our electric scooter trial gives us the opportunity to try a new low-carbon way to drive our area, especially on the hills and downhill. Bristol and Bath have both.
"In addition to metro buses, our retrofitting MetroWest rail network, and regional public transportation programs, we are making it easier to find jobs and training opportunities to ensure our recovery."
Initially, Bristol will have 100 Voi scooters and Bath will have 50 rental scooters, with more to come.
Electric scooters cost £1 and cost 20p a minute. It also offers a variety of subscription services, as well as discounted passes for students, key workers and low-income people. To ride the Voi, users must have a temporary driver's license and must be at least 18 years old. Drivers can download Voi apps for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Fredrik Hjelm, CO-FOUNDER and CEO of Voi Technology, said: "We are delighted to bring Voi's Coral scooter to Bath, Bristol, two modern cities at the forefront of culture, science and technology.
As the pandemic continues, people are looking for other ways to get around, and Voi's scooters are a safe, low-carbon alternative to public transport and car travel. We can't wait to see how residents and tourists in these big cities use the Voi scooters."
The following main rules apply to the electric scooter test:
Privately owned scooters are still illegal to use on roads, sidewalks, parks and any other area. The only place where private electric scooters can legally be used is on private land with the permission of the landowner.
Electric scooters rented or rented at the trial in the West of England can only be used legally on roads, cycle lanes or cycle lanes.
Electric scooters should not be used or parked on sidewalks to avoid disturbing pedestrians or causing nuisance.
Electric scooters are classified as motor vehicles and authorized riders of electric scooters must hold a full or temporary driving license.
A bicycle helmet is recommended when using electric scooters according to department of Transportation guidelines.
The trial will introduce safety measures that go beyond the UK government's requirements, including:
Initially, scooters would go no faster than 10 miles per hour, and in some areas they would slow down until people got used to them.
Using GPS technology, some areas will have no-ride areas and low-speed areas.
When users leave the operating area, they will be stopped and the scooters will slow down and stop.
All electric scooters have clear license plates to help identify the driver.
A driver's license and ID check will be required.
Ambassador Voi will be on the streets to enforce safety practices.
The ambassadors will work with Avon and Somerset Police to limit or ban non-compliant users.
Scooters will be taped to the handlebars with copper straps to reduce the risk of contamination by viruses and bacteria.
All scooters will be disinfected every 24 hours and Voi will provide COVID-19 advice and information through the Voi APP.
During the trial period, Voi will hold a weekly safety pop-up event, where ambassadors will be on-site to answer any questions about how to safely use scooters and provide free helmets for riders to use during the ride.