West Midlands wants to be scooter central: it has partnered with Voi to provide up to 10,000 electric scooters across multiple towns. This is the largest single-operator contract ever awarded.
Under the authority’s DfT-approved trial, the first 400 coral-coloured scooters will deploy on 10 September, split between Birmingham and Coventry. After that, the service will be expanded to include Sandwell (West Bromwich), Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Warwickshire.
As with Voi’s service in Northampton and Kettering, fees are set at £1 to unlock and 20p/min to ride. Cheaper daily subscriptions will be available, along with subsidised rates for low-income groups and free rides for key workers.
“E-scooters unquestionably offer a healthier, more environmentally friendly, alternative to the car for shorter journeys around our towns and cities, which will in turn help to ease traffic congestion and tackle air pollution,” said West Mids mayor Andy Street.
“In the UK, 60% of car journeys are between one and three miles, which significantly increases congestion. Cars no longer suit the way we live today, and we estimate that 20 per cent of short journeys could be replaced by low-carbon e-scooters with a minimum five-year lifespan,” commented Lucy Yu, Voi’s public policy director.