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Promising results from Voi’s parking rack pilot for e-scooters in Oslo

Promising results from Voi’s parking rack pilot for e-scooters in Oslo
Image (from the left): Silje Mauroy Wennevold from St. Hanshaugen district, Katrine Karlsen from Transport Økonomisk Institutt (TØI), Terje Andre, Forbundsleder of Blindeforbunde, Christina Moe Gjerde, General Manager Norway at Voi Technology.

In June, Voi placed out its first parking racks for e-scooters on public ground in Oslo, Norway, in collaboration with the district of St. hanshaugen and Transportøkonomiskt Institutt (TØI), in a bid to address the needs of vulnerable groups and improve e-scooter parking.

The St. Hanshaugen district contributed with the strategic placement of the parking racks, while TØI would study the effects that physical parking infrastructure has on user behavior. Some key questions to answer were:

  • What does it take for a user to park better?
  • What is needed from infrastructure?
  • What do operators need to do?
  • Are racks enough or do users have to be incentivized with rewards for good behavior?

The first tentative results of TØIs research are now in, and indicate that the use of physical parking infrastructure is promising.

Through a combination of surveys, GPS data from Voi, and video analysis of selected areas, some key findings are:

  1. Racks have a clear effect on parking behavior. End rides center around the racks, indicating that physical parking infrastructure could significantly reduce clutter (the images above use GPS analysis to illustrate the concentration of parked Voi e-scooter in a selected area before vs after the parking rack pilot).
  2. Effect fades after 50-60 meters. Indicating that the placement of racks could have an effect on where e-scooters are parked within a limited area. It also indicates that a higher density of parking racks will have a higher effect.
  3. Visibility is key. Users are willing to walk some extra meters if they see a parking rack, and the effect (location of ended rides) is bigger when parking racks are easily visible to users, in areas where they usually want to park.
  4. Citizens show a positive attitude towards parking racks. Surveys conducted by TØI show that both e-scooter users and non-users have a positive attitude towards measures such as physical parking racks and marked spots on the ground. Users also replied that they feel more incentivized to park responsibly if they are rewarded for good behavior, such as receiving a discount if they park in a designated zone.

In 2019, Voi started implementing incentivized parking zones (IPZ) in all of its cities – areas identified as optimal for parking – where users are rewarded with discounted rides when parking their scooters. Moving on, TØI will continue to monitor the effects of parking racks over the fall, and include effects of IPZs. The study will be published later on in the fall.