Covid-19: Electric scooters are free for NHS and emergency services staff in England
As England prepares to enter a second national coronavirus pandemic lockdown, Voi, the operator of electric scooters trials in Birmingham, Northampton, Liverpool, Cambridge, Bath and Bristol, is allowing NHS and emergency services staff to use its twittering service.
Another electric scooter operator, Neuron Mobility, also announced that it would offer new free monthly passes to NHS and emergency services workers to access its current electric scooter trial in Slough, England.
The NHS is facing one of its worst winters in recent history as the battle against the coronavirus intensifies and new localisation measures intensify. During the first lockout in March, public transport services were reduced across the country as demand fell, leaving critical workers already stressed about getting to and from work, in addition to the daily stress they face.
For Lockdown 2.0, during the second Lockdown, Voi will offer free rides to its NHS and emergency services staff as part of its Voi 4 Heroes programme, so it will be easier for them to socialize away from their city. To apply for A Voi 4 Hero Pass, users will need to upload a valid NHS identity, blue Light card or defence discount service via the Voi website. The id card must be legible and include the front of the id card. Upon receipt of the certification, Voi sends a confirmation email that allows the rider to request a free ride in the Voi app, with no discount for any previous ride. Existing Voi users will receive in-app and email updates to raise awareness of the plan and the latest COVID-19 guidelines.
During the COVID-19 conference, electric scooters have become an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to traveling around the city in cars or on public transport.Voi launched its UK service in selected UK cities over the past two months as part of a trial run by the UK government, which is now operating in six major UK cities and will soon announce more trials.
To ensure riders' safety, all Voi scooters are disinfected daily and each scooter has a copper strap on the handlebars to minimize exposure to coronavirus. The Voi app also provides COVID-19 information and advice, such as advising riders to wear gloves if it makes them feel more comfortable.
Other safety features of Voi include encouraging riders to wear helmets, implementing fenced, accessible cycling and slow zones where needed to keep speeds at 5 MPH, while Voi staff monitor scooter activity to ensure they are well parked and maintained. All Voi scooters include license plates to help identify the driver and work closely with local police to deal with misuse reports.
In Slough Neuron, a series of cutting-edge antiviral measures have been implemented to protect riders. The company has a round-the-clock team working with hospital-grade disinfectants to keep electric scooters and helmets sterile.The app also reminds riders to disinfect their hands after completing the trip, and each trip is recorded to help keep track of contacts if needed. Additional disinfection practices have been introduced for Neuron workers as well as revised disease and travel policies.
Zachary Wang, CHIEF executive of Neuron Mobility, said: "We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to THE NHS and emergency services staff at Slough for continuing to work every day to care for people, while many of us have the option to work from home. In these difficult times, we will be even more focused on providing safe and efficient transport options for those who absolutely must travel, including NHS frontline and emergency services staff."
Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CHIEF executive of Voi Technology, said: "The news of the second lockdown across England will be painful for many. At Voi, we want to ensure that key people can travel safely without having to use public transport or be stuck with cancelled services. That is why we are offering free passes to NHS and emergency services staff during the lockdown. The last thing you need to worry about when you're facing a stressful day is getting home, and we hope Voi can make life a little easier for frontline workers."