Liverpool has always been ahead of the game when it comes to taking up new cultural trends, keeping a close eye on international influences. As an international port city dating back centuries, Liverpool is a city that looks outwards rather than inwards. So we weren’t surprised when we chatted with Liverpudlian riders and they confirmed that they had seen shared e-scooters on their travels around Europe and, as soon as they arrived in Liverpool, they were keen to jump on board.
Liverpudlians may long have been followers of fashion, however, the growing number of people taking to the streets on a Voi scooter is proving that they are far from a novelty. In fact, many people like Ben, Mark, and others in the city have adopted Voi and the convenience of a safe hop-on/hop-off e-scooter service as part of their everyday way of living, such as for work, going to the gym and university.
‘Novelty’ is one of the myths about e-scooters that we are keen to debunk, because as the Liverpool trial has proven, delivered in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool City Council, the scheme is one of the most popular and successful in Europe with nearly 1.8 m rides having been taken so far. Our Liverpudlian riders have been so quick to embrace this new movement of travelling around that we’ve given the city the nickname of ‘LiVoipool’. Indeed, this successful uptake has seen Voi’s trial extended until March 2022.
How we’re all getting around Liverpool is changing
In cities such as Liverpool, embracing the micromobility revolution is critical to tackling the climate emergency. Indeed, over a quarter of all UK emissions come from the transport sector alone – our Voiagers are helping to lead the way in changing that. As Voiager Ben said: “I feel more people should, if not be scooting, walking at least, but there are way too many people driving about unnecessarily.”
It was clear that one of the other central players in our Liverpool videos was the car. Whizzing past noisily in every shot, it’s clearly still a city dominated by outdated petrol-guzzling vehicles, creating congestion and pollution for people living there. In 2021, we even commissioned a ‘reimagining’ of Liverpool’s Lark Lane, one of the busiest social streets in the city, to show how it would look if it were car-free.
Making such visions a reality might take a while but, in the meantime, the good news is that, as we head into 2022, Voi journeys have replaced over 750,000 short car journeys in Liverpool and covered over 2.7 million miles since 2020.
Clean, green sustainable tourism in Liverpool
As well as Liverpool’s own international outlook, it also attracts a lot of international visitors, ranking fifth on the list of most visited UK cities. In an era of sustainable tourism, we look forward to sharing Voi with other visitors to the city, be they people from other places in the UK or from further afield. As Emma, one of our Voi riders who was visiting her best friend in Liverpool for a few days and had already used Vois several times, said: “It’s a bit of a long walk from my hotel to the city centre, and the scooters have just been really handy. They are just really great for getting around and pretty easy to use too.”
This is why we have created our Liverpool City Guide to help people experience more of the city on their own terms and without the hassle of using a car. Our 2021 summer survey revealed that Voi is helping the city become more accessible, with over 70% of riders saying e-scooters make it easier to get around.
Liverpool’s youthful outlook
Liverpool’s youthful energy is world-renowned, and our own Liverpool mechanic, Zayna expresses this perfectly in our interview with her too. However, it is clear from our rider testimonials that Voi, and our move towards creating better cities for living, is also very important to the city’s vast student population.
Our summer survey showed that young people are embracing this important cultural change in how they live and move around as seven in ten respondents were aged between 18-34 years old. In our video above, Voi rider Mark sums up some of the travel needs of this age group, saying: “Most people can’t get cars these days because it’s too expensive, for the insurance and everything, and these are quicker and easier!”
It may be a long and winding road to a complete modal shift towards a city free from congestion, pollution and noise but, according to Liverpudlians, we are definitely on our way. Micromobility is becoming the new normal.