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.
Voi is placing its first parking racks for e scooters on public ground in collaboration with the district of St. Hanshaugen and Transportøkonomisk Institutt (TØI). The racks will be placed in the areas Bislett and St. Hanshaugen in the city center of Oslo during a summer pilot, with the purpose of figuring out what measures have the best effect on parking behavior.
“The city landscape improves for everyone when e scooters are parked properly. That’s why we’ve made it even easier to park nicely and respectfully” says Christina Moe Gjerde, General Manager Norway at Voi Technology
The racks are designed, produced, transported and funded by Voi, but riders of all scooter brands are welcome to use it. The St. Hanshaugen district has contributed with the strategic placement of the scooters, while Transportøkonomisk Institutt will study the effects physical parking infrastructure has on user behavior. Some key questions to get an answer to are:
- 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 Swedish operator launched it’s first parking racks in Stockholm, in December 2019, in collaboration with private partners such as property owners and museums. Findings already show that the mere presence of a physical parking rack has a tremendous positive impact on parking in the surrounding area. The image below shows parked scooters in the same area 2 months prior to Voi placing out a scooter rack (blue dots), vs 2 months after the rack was installed (red dots).
Voi is dedicated to shaping cities made for living, for all, and is dedicated to supporting the needs of vulnerable groups. Among those who have been vocal to politicians about the parking situation in Oslo are Norges Blindeforbund (The Norwegian Association for Visually Impaired). Voi has been in dialogue with the association since the first stages of planning the parking rack pilot, and have received support from the association.
“Now, we are encouraging all users in the area to make use of the racks. This is a great initiative, but we also need politicians to take further action for a safer city environment” says Terje Andre, Forbundleder of Norges Blindeforbund.
While the parking racks have received a warm welcome by all involved parties so far, they may only be placed out for two months to begin with, as this type of infrastructure requires it’s own regulatory license from Oslo municipality’s unit responsible for city planning.
Voi is independently working on more parking initiatives in Oslo, but at the same time encourages city officials in larger cities to dedicate more infrastructure to micro-mobility.
“We are in the midst of an urban mobility revolution. We are seeing political leaders in other European cities, for example Paris and Marseille, take a completely different approach than Norwegian politicians. Norway doesn’t have enough bike roads, and too much space is dedicated to cars” says Christina Moe Gjerde.