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She’s got a ticket to ride – celebrate Women’s Day by e-scooting for FREE


She’s got a ticket to ride – celebrate Women’s Day by e-scooting for FREE

Women in Cambridge can hop aboard an e-scooter and take a free ride this month, as the Combined Authority’s partner Voi marks International Women’s Day by giving first-time female riders a taste of the get-up-and-go scooting provides. 

Voi is offering new women riders 15 minutes of free riding on Voi e-scooters or e-bikes from 5 March to 4 April, using the code WOMEN.   

While honouring International Women’s Day on March 8th, Voi is also trying to address the fact that around three-quarters fewer women than men are taking advantage of the e-scooters, currently on extended trial in Cambridge until the end of May.  

Since the trial began in October 2020, nearly a million car journeys have been taken off the city’s roads thanks to Voi’s e-scooters and e-bikes, delivered by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority as part of its transport strategy to increase choice for people about how they move around the region.  

But in Voi’s latest survey, only 23% of UK riders were female, a situation mirrored in Cambridge, and Voi wants to encourage many more women to e-scoot, as they do in other countries, like Finland, where 37% of Voi’s riders are women. 

The Combined Authority’s own Local Transport and Connectivity Plan notes that while the e-scooter has quickly become an important service for Cambridge residents and visitors, with rising numbers of users, most are male and under 34, and more can be done to encourage female participation. 

Deputy Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Cllr Anna Smith: 

“All transport options should be inclusive so that everyone can feel safe and confident in choosing the best form of travel for them. 

“I know that sometimes I’ve ended up driving into town for a meeting or evening out because I don’t want to walk back late at night, and e-bikes and e-scooters offer another greener choice, alongside a traditional bike or taking a taxi. 

“I’m one of those people who has yet to try an e-scooter journey in Cambridge, and after my taster ride I feel a lot more confident giving it a go for myself. 

“Widening access also relies on making our infrastructure work for all. The Combined Authority is working in cooperation with our partners to create a transport system that includes everyone.  We’re investing heavily in making active travel ever safer for walkers, wheelers, cyclists and people who want to use e-bikes and licensed e-scooters.” 

The Combined Authority has worked closely with Voi and local partners throughout the trial to improve inclusivity and safety for riders, pedestrians and vulnerable road users.  E-scooters also offer discounts to people on a low income and to students. 

Since their introduction in Cambridge, Voi says e-scooters and e-bikes have clocked up over 3.5 million miles. A total of 3 million trips have been taken, replacing 980,000 car journeys, and reducing CO2 emissions by 469 tonnes – a notable contribution towards achieving better air quality in the city and net zero targets. 

Voi has been working through recommendations from a gender equity report from Women in Transport, which found that UK women were put off riding e-scooters because of road infrastructure and drivers’ attitudes. 

Voi has used feedback from women riders to modify scooter design,  altering the layout and size of handlebars to make it easier for smaller hands to use the bell, brakes and indicators. 

Other Voi research has found that one in five women feel safer scooting than walking at night. 

To use a Voi scooter, download the app and follow the instructions to set up a Voi account. Riders are advised to wear a helmet. 

New riders are encouraged to complete Voi’s online scooter skills training Ride Safe Academy at https://ridesafe.voi.com/ and to look out for the company’s scooter skills webinars due to start next month.