As lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions continue to wax and wane across Europe in response to government directives, we continue to offer our special Voi 4 Heroes program, which gives free e-scooter rides to medical and emergency service workers in our markets: France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the U.K., and the Nordics (apply here). We know how important it is for critical workers to get to and from work in a safe, efficient, socially distanced way, and our e-scooters do just that. We’re happy to do our part to keep this brilliant workforce moving.
And what would a Voi update be without a good-news story? England will emerge from its national lockdown on 2 December, and since the Voi 4 Heroes launch on 4 November, it has been a runaway success: 1,500 key workers have redeemed the discount and completed a total of 6,000 rides in Blighty!
But what happens when the lockdowns or heavier restrictions lift? Is it too late to benefit from the Voi 4 Heroes’ 100% discount?
If you, a friend, or family member is a register medical or emergency service professional, it’s still not too late to claim a free one-month Voi-4-Heroes pass. Our 100% discount remains valid until the end of your country’s lockdown.
In the U.K., for example, people can secure a free pass until 23:59 on 2 December. In France, the lockdown is slated to end on 15 December, whereas Germany’s will end on 20 December (pending further government review). Italy’s lockdown is under assessment. Although not under official lockdown, Switzerland and the Nordics have implemented stricter measures to keep corona in check; end dates are still TBD. Post-lockdowns, the Voi 4 Heroes discounts will revert to 75% off the cost of a Voi Pass.
All users that have an active 100% discounted pass will be able to use it until it expires. Passes are valid for one month from acquisition.
What do our heroes think? We talked to Jo P., a data and digital lead in primary care, from Northampton about her experience with the Voi 4 Heroes discount.
How has your job changed since the coronavirus pandemic started?
How have you adapted, personally and professionally? I started my job just three months before the first lockdown started in the spring, so coronavirus has pretty much been the norm for me in the NHS. It’s been a whirlwind introduction to the sector for me, with fast-paced change to stay in line with government guidance. On a personal level, dealing with the psychological aspects of lockdown and having to take fewer days’ holiday has been an additional strain, as I’m sure it has been for many people.
What are your current challenges in getting to and from work? How has Voi helped?
I’d love to walk to work and back, as it’s only around 20 minutes, but in reality, I want to get home quicker than that after a hard day. Using Voi e-scooters means I’m still getting fresh air, but it takes less than half the time to walk and saves me from using my 2.0-litre diesel car or spending money on a taxi (which is more than double the cost of renting a scooter). I have been able to work from home for a few days to help maintain social distancing in the office, but knowing that I’m just seven minutes away by scooter brings me peace of mind —I can scoot in if I need to. And when I’m in the office, I can pop to the shop and back during my 10-minute break. Perfect!
How did you hear about the scooters and why did you decide to try one?
I didn’t know anything about the scooters before they appeared in my town overnight. There is a parking spot 2 minutes from my home, so I walked past the scooters parked up a few times on my way to and from work and was very intrigued. Then I saw an article about the scooters in the local paper and thought they were a great idea. The same day, I was late finishing work, and came across a scooter just down the road. I bit the bullet, gave it a go, and it has been my preferred mode of transport since.
How do you use the e-scooters in Northampton?
I don’t do much outside of work; I’m staying home wherever possible. I use the scooters every day for work, and I also scoot over to see my mum, who is in my household “support bubble”. (She’s had a go on a scooter, too — at 62 years old —and loved it!) Sometimes it’s nice to just get out of the house and have a little scoot around in the fresh air. Once we’re out of lockdown, I can see myself using a scooter instead of my car for most quick solo journeys around town.
How do you see the e-scooter trial benefitting Northampton? Is particularly useful during lockdown?
With COVID-19 still around, I would certainly rather use a scooter than be on a crowded bus. It’s an additional transportation choice, which is always good to have, and I love that I’m not polluting the environment when I travel. There aren’t many people using greener forms of transport in Northampton, and I think we could have a better cycle-lane infrastructure throughout the town. My hope is that the increased use of scooters (and bikes) will create the demand needed to justify investing in more cycle lanes.
What is your favourite thing about the scooters?
That I don’t need to be prepared to ride —I just find one on the street, scan, and scoot away.
What do you think of the Voi 4 Heroes program overall?
I think it’s great —although I wouldn’t consider myself a “hero”. Not only is it providing free transport for NHS workers, but it is also encouraging more people to give a greener option a go.
Free rides via Voi 4 Heroes is just one of the ways we’re giving back to our communities and making travelling safer during the coronavirus pandemic. For more information, read about our COVID-19 safety initiatives.