Voi – Europe’s number one e-scooter operator –  has revealed how a joint initiative with Stuttgart’s rail operator S-Bahn Stuttgart to integrate Voi and the Mobility Stuttgart app and improve organised parking in a central station, pushed ticket sales in the Mobility Stuttgart App to Voi users up by a third. The research was published to coincide with a symposium on the 15-Minute City philosophy during which academics, transport operators, city mayors and other experts discussed how cities might improve if everything could be reached within 15 minutes.

The 15-Minute City concept, first described by leading academic Carlos Moreno, proposes that micro-mobility and public transport, working in conjunction with one another, have the power to unlock the true potential of cities; to turn them into vibrant places to live and work, where everything you need can be reached within a quarter of an hour.

Carlos Moreno, Scientific Director of the ETI Chair at the Sorbonne Panthéon University- IAE Paris and creator of the 15-Minute City concept, said:  

“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. 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. This change is not only necessary for our well-being but also for the planet. I’m glad that Voi is interested in becoming a major player in micro-mobility for the 15-Minute City. 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.”

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 micro-mobility is the key to unlocking the vision of 15 minute cities and we want to do everything we can to make that transition happen.”

E-scooters and public transport providers in Stuttgart benefit from collaboration

Data released today to coincide with the symposium shows that shared e-scooter operations can lead to an increase in public transport, thereby addressing some of the challenges of increased traffic and congestion in cities.

Based on a pilot integration carried out in Stuttgart in the second half of 2020, researchers were able to show that:

  • Partnership between Voi and S-Bahn Stuttgart led to at least a 35% increase in rail tickets purchased by Voi users terminating at the Bad Cannstatt station, compared to the rest of the city of Stuttgart
  • The number of last-mile Voi trips increased by more than 250% in the Bad Cannstatt station after parking racks were installed
  • Integrating the Mobility Stuttgart and Voi apps increased the use of micro-mobility in the last mile, which may translate into a reduction of car trips

The research suggests that there is a positive correlation between commuting by rail and e-scooters, which can provide the last-mile mode. The findings also suggest that public transport accessibility is improved, due to a combination of the physical, digital and commercial integrations that Voi made with S-Bahn Stuttgart and Mobimeo, a Mobility-as-a-Service platform provider founded by Deutsche Bahn, as the technology partner.

Voi’s own research has made similar findings with 42% of users saying they combine their e-scooter trip with public transport, and only 11% with private cars. This suggests that shared e-scooters may contribute to the reduction of Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT), meaning that the vehicles help to reduce congestion and pollution. Having been the first e-scooter company to receive certification for its scooter in Germany in 2019, Voi is now delivering over 500,000 rides a week in each of Germany’s five biggest cities.

Inclusivity

Voi also revealed that it would begin an exclusive year-long research programme with independent consultancy 6t, to look at how to make shared e-scooters a more inclusive transport service.  Currently women, older age groups, lower-income citizens and also those living outside

dense city centres are under-served by this new mode of transport and Voi wants to work on tailoring its service better so that it can reach these groups.

Marion Lagadic, project manager at 6t, said: 

“Since the beginning of the micro-mobility boom, 6t’s studies have highlighted the lack of inclusiveness in this field. We were delighted when the Voi team asked us to support them in tackling this important topic. Today, Voi has adopted a purposeful and ambitious strategy to address this issue, and we are looking forward to seeing its effects.”

A call to arms 

Voi’s virtual international symposium is a call to key industry players in public transport to join the company in supporting the 15-Minute City concept, as well as an opportunity for leaders in the field of transport, city planning and micro-mobility to discuss the challenges that lie ahead.

Voi in Europe

After operating for more than three years, Voi is now the leading e-scooter operator across Europe, with a presence in more than 60 cities. Since its launch in 2018, Voi is now the market leader in terms of market share. It was the first e-scooter operator to launch in Europe in 2018; the first to go carbon neutral; the first to launch swappable batteries; the first to resell e-scooters at scale; the first to create an accredited traffic school.

Voi has won the greatest market share (40%) of licences continent-wide, more than twice that of its nearest competitor, meaning that it is committed to working in a regulated environment with other public transport operators. Voi is now the largest micro-mobility company in Europe from fleet size to ride numbers and utilisation figures. It’s also the founding member of the European Sustainability Pledge aimed at improving sustainability across the continent.

Voi recently published its first annual safety report – the first of its kind from a micro-mobility company – as part of its commitment to Vision Zero, in which it wishes to eliminate all fatal accidents. The report contains the following findings:

  • 16% of crashes occur on first rides  – according to Voi’s own data
  • 31% of Europeans say that the lack of dedicated bike lanes is a key issue for e-scooters (source Eurobarometer)
  • 70% of city authorities in Europe believe that fewer car trips and more micro-mobility are good for overall safety

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.