People across the region will soon be able to rent an e-scooter and take it home after the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Voi Technology announced the launch of their long-term rental scheme, as part of the region’s e-scooter trials.
The WECA region, is the first area in the UK to offer residents both the Voi hop-on-hop-off and the long-term rental options.
Voi’s long-term e-scooter rentals can be used by residents across the whole of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire giving unlimited access to cost-effective and socially distanced transport, within the entire geofenced WECA area. This scheme complements the hop-on, hop off short-term e-scooter scheme currently available for rides in defined parts of Bath and Bristol.
With long-term rentals, residents in the region can rent an e-scooter for personal use that they can keep at home for an extended period of time, giving them more flexibility to travel from home and move flexibly within the region, reducing the need for short car journeys and consequently improving air quality and reducing congestion.
Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “This is another West of England transport first thanks to the Combined Authority. We are the first area in the country to host Voi’s long-term e-scooter rental service. This will offer another practical, flexible and cost-effective alternative to the car for people who want to use the scooter to help us get our region moving.
“It builds on the popularity of our hop-on hop-off e-scooters which we’ve seen growing in Bath and Bristol and offers a socially distanced mode of transport for users outside of the city centres. Alongside metrobus, our transformational MetroWest rail network and plans for a regional mass transit, we’re making it easier to get to the jobs and training opportunities that will secure our recovery.”
From 27 January users will be able to rent a scooter for one or six months or until the trial ends in late October 2021 and use them within the pre-defined geofenced WECA region. It costs £35 to rent the scooter for one month, with lower rates available for a longer rental period. Privately owned e-scooters remain illegal to use on roads, pavements, parks and any other areas.
- Residents interested in signing up for a long-term rental can register on the Voi website https://www.voiscooters.com/long-term-rentals/. To be eligible for a long-term rental scooter, users need to be over 18 years old, have a valid or provisional driving licence and live in the WECA region.
Once the user has been approved, the vehicle delivery will be arranged by Voi. Alongside the scooter, the user will receive a helmet, a lock and two battery chargers. Voi will also provide a user guide with detailed information on how to use, maintain and charge the scooter at home.
Richard Corbett, Regional General Manager of UK, Ireland and Benelux for Voi, said: “Following the success of the e-scooter trial launched back in October, we are excited to bring our long-term rentals to the WECA region. This rental option offers residents a cost-effective way to use a scooter regularly within a wider area.
“Voi has supported the local community to move around safely and socially distanced, giving NHS staff and Key Emergency workers free rides during the lockdown. As we head towards a green recovery, e-scooters will continue to play a strategic part, replacing short car journeys and supporting the local sustainability goals.”
Councillor Dine Romero, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “As part of the e-scooter pilot this latest offer gives people another option which is more flexible and encourages users to make short journeys where they might have previously used their car. E-scooters are part of much wider ambitions we have in Bath & North East Somerset to improve the way people move about and we are currently consulting on this in our Bath Transport Delivery Action Plan. The plan looks at new ways of getting around the area to help us reach our target of being carbon neutral by 2030 to help tackle the climate and ecological emergency.”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “E-scooters are a great way to travel and I’m delighted that they will now be available to more people in and around Bristol through the flexibility of longer-term rental options across a wider area. This trial is providing another low-emission alternative to short car journeys that will help us to deliver clean air, alongside our improvements to bus, walking and cycling journeys across the city and plans for a mass transit public transport system.”
South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Strategic Infrastructure Cllr Steve Reade said: “I’m really pleased to see the West of England e-scooter scheme continue to prove successful and now expand to offer long-term rentals in our area, which will offer people another option when making sustainable travel choices.
“It’s exciting to see innovative technologies such as this come forward and present a real alternative to using cars. These e-scooters are really convenient and help improve connectivity where existing sustainable transport options are limited. Innovations such as this also complement our climate change ambitions as they can potentially help reduce harmful emissions on our roads and improve air quality.”