Leading e-scooter operator, Voi Technology, have increased the number of vehicles available and widened the area where they can be used outside the city centre due to the scheme’s growing popularity.
Four hundred e-scooters will be available to hire via the pilot scheme, which has expanded to include more areas close to the city centre – including Toxteth, Dingle and Kensington – as well as key transport hubs St Michael’s, Sandhills and Edge Hill railway stations.
The expansion is being delivered in close collaboration with Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and will also see the e-scooters serve new Covid-19 mass testing centres.
The vehicles are available to hire at city centre hospitals including the Royal Liverpool and Women’s Hospitals – with 75% discount available to NHS staff.
E-scooters trials are also taking place in other cities across the UK – including Cambridge, Bristol and Birmingham – but the Liverpool e-scooter trial is one of the fastest growing and most popular in the country.
Since its launch in October this year, people in Liverpool have taken over 72,000 rides and travelled nearly 210,500 km. Currently, there are over 21,000 unique registered riders in Liverpool with the number continuing to grow.
This expansion, which will continue during January to include other areas North and South of the city, opens up opportunities to travel by e-scooter to even more people, providing a socially distanced alternative for short journeys around the city centre and nearby neighbourhoods.
Voi is also working closely with Merseyside Police and key stakeholders – including local businesses – to ensure the safety of all road users.
Private e-scooters which are not part of the trial remain illegal, whilst using the vehicles on pavements, with two riders and under the age of 18 are also against the law.
As the trial progresses, Voi will continue to educate its riders, through in-app messages related to safe riding, rules of e-scooters and tips and advice on how and where to park safely. Riders will also be encouraged to complete Voi’s digital e-scooter traffic school #RideLikeVoila , the world’s first certified digital traffic school, where they can learn how to ride a scooter safely.
In addition, Voi also takes special measures to protect riders against COVID-19, including daily cleaning and disinfecting of the e-scooters. Voi e-scooters are fitted with copper tape in the handlebars to minimise the transmission of coronavirus.
The company also provides COVID-19 advice and information via the app and encourages its users to use hand sanitiser and wear gloves.
Councillor Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said:“I’m not surprised at the way people in Liverpool have responded to this e-scooter scheme. The city centre’s compact accessible nature lends itself to this mode of transport.
“The fact that it’s also providing a socially distanced way to travel at a time when capacity on our public transport system is limited due to Covid has clearly added to its popularity. I’m encouraged by the results and will be keen to see how it develops as the scheme is widened across the city.”
Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “We’re pleased to see that the e-scooter trial in Liverpool continues to be popular with those who want to take short journeys in and around the city centre.
“We have been working closely with Voi and partners at Liverpool City Council and Merseyside Police to ensure that we can safely increase the number of vehicles available for hire and to expand the areas in which they can be used.
“We hope the trial continues to be a success and we’re able to take to the opportunity to look at how e-scooters can be part of the future of the transport network here in the Liverpool City Region.”
UPDATE: Please note that e -scooters do not need to be returned to a docking station, but can be left on the street from where they will be centrally collected.