Rental e-scooter riders in Southampton and Portsmouth have ridden the equivalent of just over five return journeys to the moon since the regional e-scooter trial was launched two years ago.

E-scooter trials started here in March 2021 as part of the Solent Future Transport Zone, and riders across the scheme have now clocked up over 1.7 million Voi e-scooter journeys, covering a distance of 2.6 million miles in total.

In the last two years, the popularity of Voi rental e-scooters in both Southampton and Portsmouth has grown immensely, with the number of rides up by 61% in Southampton and 41% in Portsmouth year on year.

Voi has a combined fleet of more than 1,400 e-scooters in the cities, which riders have used to travel 1.6 million miles in Southampton and 1 million miles in Portsmouth.

The e-scooter company works closely with Solent Transport and its local authority partners to provide users with more options to find and hire Voi e-scooters through the local Breeze journey planner app, making it even easier to combine their journeys with transport such as buses or trains.

A recent survey among Voi e-scooter riders in the Solent region found that among the most common reasons for e-scooter journeys were getting to and from work, followed closely by social engagements, errands and shopping.

The survey also found that riders in the Solent region like rental e-scooters because they’re an enjoyable mode of transport, they’re easy to use to get around town, and they’re sustainable, affordable and reliable.

In Portsmouth, 47% of Voi riders used e-scooters instead of travelling by car, taxi or motorbike, while in Southampton the figure was 37%.

Jack Samler, general manager for Voi UK, Ireland and France, said: “We work hard with Solent Transport, Southampton and Portsmouth City Councils to make sure we operate a service which works for the communities it serves.

“It’s great to see that people in Southampton and Portsmouth are embracing e-scooter travel in growing numbers.

“Travelling by e-scooter is easy, safe and affordable. Riders can beat traffic jams and get to work, the shops or to meet friends without causing congestion or pollution.

“We encourage our riders to ride safely and considerately, to wear a helmet and take part in our online safety training which is on our app or website.”

Councillor Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth City Council Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation and Chair of Solent Transport’s Joint Committee, said:

“The council’s own surveys of residents and rental e-scooter riders highlight that commuting for work and education has become the most important purpose for use in Portsmouth. I’m pleased to see that rental e-scooters are becoming a key way to get around easily and sustainably for people living in or visiting the city.

“The Solent Future Transport Zone continues to provide the Solent region with opportunities to trial new and innovative transport services.

“We’re particularly pleased with Voi’s collaborative approach in integrating with our Breeze app, the UK’s first multi-city transport super-app.”

Councillor Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and District Regeneration at Southampton City Council said: “Getting around the city has never been so easy. Our Voi e-scooters are regulated with safety features and licence requirements, easy to locate and use and are affordable too.

“The scheme goes from strength to strength, and I am so pleased with how Southampton has embraced this new form of travel. I look forward to our next million miles.”