Time flies when you’re having fun, and we’ve been happy to support the transportation needs of Cambridge residents over our first month of service in the city. Since our launch on 15 October, we’ve welcomed over 1,600 new riders who’ve taken around 3,500 rides and travelled over 7,200 km in Cambridge. Those are great numbers, but what really matters is what our riders think.
Based in Cambridge, Aksara Inamdar runs a site called To Woke Souls and is an advocate for the conscious living movement.
What do you like best about Cambridge?
It’s cosmopolitan and multicultural. It’s only an hour away from London, yet it’s peaceful and full of nature. Although I can work from and be inspired anywhere, here is a good place to focus on my health and well-being, too.
The city is definitely livable, and I absolutely love that there are now micro-mobility options in the city. With people avoiding public transport fur to COVID and the roads constantly congested, scooters are a great way to get around, without the hassle, forward-planning and commitment of cycling.
How did you hear about the scooters?
I saw them on Twitter. I was drawn in instantly, as I was just saying a few months ago how great it would be for us to have them here.
What was it like riding Voi? Was it what you expected?
I really enjoyed it. It was super easy, fun, and freeing — to be able to bypass the traffic and feel the wind in my hair (as cheesy as that sounds). I was a little nervous, because I hadn’t tried one before, but I very quickly got into the groove of things.
How do you use the e-scooters in Cambridge?
They’re fast and easy to use on the way home from a long walk if I’m tired, or if I’ve had an unplanned visit to the shops and have a few bags to carry.
I like the convenience — not having to pre-plan my journey in advance and knowing that I can leave one wherever I need to at the end of my trip, without worrying about where to store or locking it. I don’t have to worry about ordering a cab, locking up a bike, or where to park a car. I’m also not sitting around in traffic. They’re just effortless.
Why do you think this e-scooter trial is good for Cambridge?
I think e-scooters will have a lasting impact. I’ve already spotted many people taking advantage of them. Cambridge is filled with students and tourists, and people tend to move around a fair amount — they come here to study, work, etc. It’s not a stagnant city, so I believe convenience and flexibility are of utmost importance. People may not necessarily want to commit to buying bicycles or cars while they are here. Public transport is looking unattractive with the pandemic, so people want to make their own way to destinations and back with as few encounters with others as possible.
What is your favourite thing about the scooters?
There’s a childlike feeling to riding one. I love how it takes me back to my earlier years and allows me to connect with my inner child.