There have been a lot of changes in how we socialise and move around during the pandemic, but one silver lining has been the appearance of shared e-scooters on our streets. This is thanks to a countrywide series of trials incentivised by the UK government. Why a trial? Because with a new mode of transport, that reduces our reliance on cars and also takes the pressure off public transport, it’s important to get it right. That way, everyone can ensure that e-scooters are safe, sustainable and super accessible.
Here are ten reasons why and how you should check e-scooters out, and join this exciting new urban movement.
1. Micromobility is a new worldwide movement
As towns and cities respond to the climate crisis by lowering their carbon emissions, the micromobiity movement, which includes e-bicycles and e-scooters, is flying green flags from every possible post. One of the biggest growth areas in transport, you can be an early adopter and help towns and cities across the UK* embrace this modal shift. You can also show other cities why they should also be jumping on board. The more the merrier.
2. Regulation creates revolution
Sticking to the rules is not what students are famous for, but revolutions have been student-led for generations. Shaping cities for future generations is a revolution that is definitely worth joining if you believe in clean, green and accessible urban spaces. However, and here’s the boring bit, respecting regulation is a vital part of this revolution. Shared e-scooters are classified as motor vehicles and users need to follow the rules of the road, so that the revolution can be enjoyed by all.
3. E-scooters are safe if you follow the rules
In order to show the powers that be that e-scooters are the way to go, you need to stick to the rules. The biggies are to be sober, slow (ish), solo and street savvy. So, never use a scooter when you are under the influence; always ride solo; go slow in areas when your e-scooter tells you to slow down, and don’t even think about scooting on the pavements. It’s illegal and a bit dumb as it gives all e-scooter users a bad name. E-scooter operator, Voi, has all sorts of tech tricks to help you learn to ride safely. One example is a quick reaction test that you can take on your Voi app if you have had a drink. If you fail it, leave it.
4. Ride e-scooters with a student discount pass
If you are a new Voi e-scooter user, you can make some student savings with 50% off a Voi Day Pass, by adding the code STUDENTSUK50 to your wallet before your first ride. This discount is for all students and staff at higher education institutions in towns and cities where Voi operates, such as Liverpool, Bristol or Bath, as long as they are new Voiagers**. Read more about Voi’s student offers and how to best use the service to explore your university city here. They are also running a series of pop-up safety events around the country. If you attend one, you will be gifted a cool Voi helmet, which they always recommend wearing while riding an e-scooter. Check out their helmet selfie on their app too, where you can gain credits for enjoying safe scooting.
5. Follow the tech leaders
The world of shared e-scooter schemes is where the tech world is trending right now. As soon as you download the app, for example, you will see geofencing tech in action. In certain parts of town, your speed is automatically reduced in order to ensure everyone’s safety. For responsible parking, Voi’s e-scooters make it mandatory for you to take a photo on your phone and ping it through to them, to show that you are parking perfectly. Only then can you get on with your day. In short, always ping it, don’t sling it.
6. You are the Z-ustainability gen
University students are predominantly zoomers, and you are the young people who truly get sustainability. Many of you may even have taken part in School Strikes for Climate and so we don’t need to preach to the converted. However, by using an e-scooter you are no longer just shouting about sustainability, you are also showing that you won’t enable ecocide. Voi e-scooters, for example, are carbon neutral and their latest models last over five years, after which they are fully recycled. Their batteries are replaced in situ by city rangers, and all transport of e-scooters is done in their electric vans or cargo bikes. The time has come to reduce pollution and congestion in our cities. So scoot over cars.
7. E-scooters are too cool for school
It may be finally dawning on you uni newbies that school is finally behind you. And the good news is that shared e-scooters are too cool for school. In fact, you have to be over eighteen to use one by law and you need to have a driver’s licence (although you can use a provisional one). So, ID is not only your key to a student social life, it is also your key to the city. It is worth noting, in case you don’t know already, it is illegal to ride any privately owned e-scooter in the UK, unless on private land.
8. Keep fresh during freshers week
Sometimes freshers week can be spread all over the place, and an e-scooter is your quick route from one social event to another. Just download the app and hop on board. It is highly recommended to take it slowly at first, while you get used to it. The Beginner’s Mode allows you to start with confidence by reducing the e-scooter speed to 10mph. Also, you won’t sweat on an e-scooter, so you can keep your cool, and still look cool too.
9. Speed up your new exercise regime
E-scooters are a great way to dash from class to crossfit, or seminars to the swimming pool. When brain fog kicks in with academic overload, and it’s a 20-minute walk to your favourite park run, circuit class or swimfit session, you may be tempted to head for the couch instead. By jumping on an e-scooter, however, you are more likely to keep that sports date and then have more time for socialising afterwards as well.
10. Work for an e-scooter company
Voi e-scooters has the highest number of e-scooters in the UK, and they are always keen to meet students with skills. Shift work as a mechanic, Voi ambassadors or rangers to keep an eye on the smooth running of their shared e-scooters is perfect for students. Their merch is pretty cool too if you are on staff by the way. Check out their Jobs page for more information.