Voi research claims e-scooters can boost public transport use
30 June 2021
by Christopher Carey
A survey from Swedish micromobility firm Voi has found that incorporating e-scooters into the public transport ecosystem can help boost ticket sales at key city locations.
The study, carried out in the German city of Stuttgart, found there was a 35 percent increase in rail tickets purchased by Voi users who ended their journeys at Bad Cannstatt station – one of the largest train stations in the city – when compared to other locations.
The findings were discussed during Voi’s ’15-Minute City’ symposium, an online event which featured speakers from the transport industry, including Carlos Moreno – the Franco-Columbian academic central to the creation of the 15-minute city concept.
“For too long we have accepted that cities will be noisy, polluted and draining places but there is no need to continue with the status quo,” said Moreno, Scientific Director of the ETI chair at the Sorbonne Panthéon University.
“The time is now to rethink and design our cities to put people first and the answer is the 15-Minute City – by prioritising walking, scooting and cycling, we can transform cities into liveable places.
“If we want to make urban life more healthy and flexible, we need to ensure that all citizens are empowered and informed in this transformation and discussions like this are needed to achieve real change.”
Voi teamed up with rail operator S-Bahn Stuttgart for the study, and the firm’s e-scooters were integrated with the city’s multimodal Mobility Stuttgart app.
Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology, said: “The reality is that cars still carry a large part of the daily traffic in our cities but we need to reduce our reliance on them and create cities where we can enjoy our lives, reach all important services and breathe more easily.
“We think micromobility is the key to unlocking the vision of 15-minute cities and we want to do everything we can to make that transition happen.”
The survey also found that the number of ‘last-mile’ Voi e-scooter trips increased by more than 250 percent at the Bad Cannstatt station after parking racks were installed.
Voi says its research indicates that e-scooters can reduce car use, a claim touted by a number of e-scooter firms.
But the lack of independent data on a correlation between an increase in e-scooter use and a decrease in car use means cities are reliant on a limited number of industry-sponsored studies.
German e-scooter firm TIER recently said London’s e-scooter rental scheme could replace five million car trips in the UK capital every year – if it reaches full capacity.
By assessing usage data from operations across 115 cities in the UK and wider Europe, the company estimated a utilisation rate of four rides per day per scooter in London, meaning there will be nearly 80,000 rides per day on e-scooters and over 29 million a year.
According to data from TIER’s own research, 17.3 percent of trips taken on rental e-scooters replace car journeys.
When applying this to London, the firm calculates that 4.9 million car journeys can be replaced by e-scooters every year.
“The potential environmental benefits of switching from cars to e-scooters for short journeys are absolutely staggering when you think about the size and scale of London and the number of vehicles on the roads,” said TIER Regional Manager Fred Jones.