Enjoy Oxford by E-Scooter
E-Scooters have come to Oxford as part of an extended trial set to last until November 2022.
Visitors and residents of Oxford can now hire zero-emission e-scooters as part of a government trial. The rental scheme is operated by Voi Technology and aims to support key workers and people getting back to work and leisure in Oxford.
Scooters can be used on the road and cycle lanes within the trial area but not on pavements. The scooters are tracked by GPS and regularly serviced.
To ride a scooter, download the Voi app and upload a copy of your valid driving licence.
It costs £1 to unlock the scooter and then 20p per minute of the ride. There are also several subscriptions to make unlimited rides at a fixed rate. Voi is offering discounted rides to students, those of low income, NHS and emergency service staff.
Privately owned e-scooters are illegal to ride on a public road, cycle lane or pavement. You can only legally ride an e-scooter that has been hired through this trial.
- You must 18 years old or over
- You must hold a provisional or full driving licence
- Don’t allow others to use your Voi account or driving licence. You are responsible for any misuse
- Don’t ride on the pavement – only cycle lanes and roads
- Don’t ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Only one person per e-scooter
- Scooters will be available for hire 4am – 10pm.
How to find one
They can be found in various parking sites in Oxford. These locations can be seen on the Voi app and the interactive map. Voi e-scooters are easily identified by their distinctive coral colour. Voi is written in white on the scooter’s handlebar shaft.
An initial 205 parking sites have been identified but these sites are subject to regular review throughout the trial. All sites are of equal size and should only ever see a total of ten e-scooters parked within each geofenced zone.
In Oxford, users can only end their rides in mandatory parking zones, identified clearly in the app.
Each e-scooter is tracked via GPS. We have created a virtual boundary with slow-ride and no-ride zones. If an e-scooter is taken outside this virtual boundary software will trigger to reduce the speed reduce gradually. Users can see their locations and operating zone on the in-app map.
- All the scooters are limited to 12 mph
- In a no-ride zone, the motor is slowed to 0 mph. The scooter must be returned to the operating area. Failure to do so will result in a £25 fine against the user’s account.
- In a slow-ride zone, the motor is capped to either 5 or 8 mph, depending on location.
Using an e-scooter
There is a local team employed by Voi to track usage and manage the distribution of e-scooters throughout the day. This means so that they are available where users want them.
For the initial launch, scooters will be available for hire 4am – 10pm. These hours will be reviewed and amended based on demand.
They can’t be folded or collapsed in any way and can’t be taken on public transport.
How to park
There is advice on the Voi website about how to park properly. Make sure you park where it’s accessible for other users (never indoors or in a courtyard). It should never block pathways, accessibility ramps, driveways, crosswalks or cars.
You need a licence
Riders must have a provisional or full driving licence. This is mandated by the Department of Transport (DfT), and Voi also believes that it helps ensure people know the rules of the road and will be more responsible riders. Provisional licenses can be obtained in one week, through an online application. Riders cannot begin their first ride without first verifying their licence in the app. Verification is performed by Onfido, a trusted technology that verifies people’s identities using a photo-based identity document, a selfie and artificial intelligence algorithms.
Voi has also decided to go beyond the DfT requirements and has included personal accident coverage insurance for all trips. Meaning users have motor third-party insurance.
They have taken almost 210,000 journeys and travelled more than 310,000 miles (498,897 km), the council said.