Voi has won an exclusive contract to bring its e-scooters to Liverpool with a new trial beginning today.
The year-long pilot scheme, a joint initiative of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool City Council, will see the Swedish-based e-scooter company initially bring around 50 of the carbon-neutral vehicles to the city for public hire, with more to follow as the trial continues.
The e-scooters will be available to hire from today, 6th October, using a mobile app and will be placed at key sites around the city centre, including the shopping and commercial districts as well as near to the University of Liverpool and LJMU campuses.
The vehicles will travel at a maximum speed of ten miles an hour, but their speed will be electronically restricted to around five miles an hour in areas with high footfall. The trial area will cover Liverpool city centre, extending from the city’s waterfront to its Knowledge Quarter, Georgian Quarter and the Vauxhall area to the north of the city centre.
“I want our area’s transport network to be as cheap, quick and green as possible,” said Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region. “E- scooters could offer residents and tourists alike a quick and convenient way to get around the city centre, as happens in many European cities.
“We will be working closely with the Council and Police to monitor the scheme and make sure that the scooters are being used safely and properly. If the trial goes well, then we can look forward to seeing these scooters play a role in my plans for a London-style transport system.”
Supported by Department for Transport, the Liverpool e-scooter trial is one of more than a dozen taking place across the UK, including in the West Midlands and Northampton. It is hoped that the vehicles can be used to support public transport and provide a new low-carbon mode of transport.
The scheme has also been designed in close consultation with disability associations including the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Councillor Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “We want everyone to be able to travel in and around Liverpool as cleanly as possible – be it by walking or cycling and we’re investing millions of pounds to help people do just that. The benefits to their physical and mental health, as well as our environment and air quality, are plain to see.
“We have also made a commitment for Liverpool to be carbon neutral by 2030. This is a huge undertaking and this e-scooter trial is a welcome experiment to be part of a wider movement strategy to help deliver that outcome. I look forward to seeing the results.”
Initially, the vehicles will only be available to users between 6am and 10pm, in line with national COVID-19 restrictions around the opening of restaurants and bars. Voi has an exclusive contract to provide scooters for the trial and the company expects it to create 50 full-time jobs.
– E-scooters will cost £1 to unlock, plus £0.20 per minute
– Unlimited daily and monthly passes will also be available
– Users will need to have at least a provisional driving license to hire an e-scooter
– Discounted travel passes will be made available for low income groups
– Voi will launch free online traffic school for local riders with incentives to take a course
– To help prevent transmission of COVID-19, all vehicles will be disinfected daily and handlebars will be wrapped in Shieldex Copper-Tape which kills 99.98% of coronavirus on contact
“We are delighted to announce that we will soon be offering the Voi e-scooter service in Liverpool, bringing our total number of UK regions to 11 in just two months,” said Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology. “We urgently need new transport options, particularly as city residents want to get around with increased social distancing. Today’s transport innovations are all about helping people to get out of their cars and making greener choices, as well as staying safe.
“We are seeing the biggest change in a hundred years for the way people travel and Voi is here to help Liverpool make the most of the opportunity. We can’t wait to get started.”
The Voi e-scooter app can be downloaded from the app store and Google Play.