Scooting Around Town

2021-04-03, Chris

Today I wanted to go to Rice Up Wholefoods Ltd to get some treats, but I was running a little late so needed to get there quickly. I pondered driving down, but that seemed a bit unnecessary - I could carry what I needed in a rucksack. Then I remembered that e-scooters have recently gone live in the city, and I thought I'd give them a go.

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To get started on an e-scooter you need to download the Voi app, and be aware that you'll need to wait a minute or so for your first scooter to unlock as you have to take a photo of your driving license and wait for it to be verified. After that though it's an easy (and surprisingly quick) way to get around town, particularly on the new cycle lanes. Before you unlock a scooter you can check its vital statistics, most importantly remaining battery (though my trips only took a few percentage points off). Unlike the yellow bikes that you used to find dumped all over the city, the scooters need to be left at designated bays and a photo taken of the scooter to end the trip. There are already quite a few bays around the west of the city and more are being added, so the convenience factor should only grow with them. At present, however, there are no bays east of the river Itchen.

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Though I wouldn't recommend it as a replacement for walking or cycling for obvious reasons, they're great to pop into town quickly if you need something from a distant shop or to admire our beautiful central parks, which are looking pretty dashing in the spring sunshine.

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As part of our new transport offering, e-scooters could definitely help replace unnecessary short car journeys and make our city breath easier. As for Rice Up, they have a delicious deli counter, and I highly recommend their pasties if you're looking things to bring to a picnic.