Partnering with UK climate action charity, Possible, is a no-brainer for us at Voi. This is an organisation that aims for a zero-carbon society and strives to do so by working at grassroots with communities and individuals. They don’t just do small talk, they create big actions. Possible’s latest initiative, Going Car Free, follows the journey of 12 people in different UK cities over January and February 2022. These people have chosen to leave their cars parked for three whole weeks and, throughout the duration, they will also document their experience of doing so.
The goal of this project is to highlight that, while owning and using a car may seem more convenient, with the right support and infrastructure people can make more climate-friendly choices and be less dependent on cars.
Free Monthly Voi Passes for Possible’s participants
In order to support the Going Car Free project, we are offering free Voi Monthly Passes to Possible’s participants in Birmingham and Bristol, which will amply cover the participants’ Going Car Free period. We are also giving them free Voi helmets (free to all our Monthly Pass holders in fact) as well as e-scooter training and safety advice from Voi’s staff. Our research shows that Voi’s riders not only use e-scooters as their sole method of transport on a regular basis, but also as a convenient option for the ‘first and last mile’ of trips requiring public transport, and so we hope that Possible’s car free candidates will enjoy the benefits from all these options.
Why we all need to rethink the way we travel
Around 60% of 1-2 mile journeys in the UK are made by motor vehicle, which happens to be the average length of an e-scooter ride. And, according to a recent report by Inrix, drivers wasted an average of 73 hours in traffic during 2021. Furthermore, in the UK 27% of carbon emissions are from transport, and pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health with thousands of deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure. This underlines why we urgently need to rethink the way we travel and particularly the space allocated to cars on our roads and cities.
“As the UK’s largest micromobility operator, we are delighted to see our service driving a profound modal shift in the UK since we launched our shared e-scooter scheme just over a year ago. Some 39% of our users tell us they are replacing short car journeys with a Voi. Creating cities for living that are free of pollution and congestion is our main goal, and by collaborating with Possible we can encourage more people to make climate-friendly travel choices, reducing reliance on cars and shifting the dial even further.
“By driving awareness and incentivising more people to use sustainable modes of transport, Voi and micromobility play a vital role in enabling a safe, affordable and just transition to net-zero across our cities and towns.”- Matthew Pencharz, Voi’s Head of Policy, UKI & Benelux
Going Car Free research aims
The information garnered from this initiative will be part of Possible’s ongoing research into the reality of how people experience a modal shift, from cost savings to the convenience of other options. It will also serve to highlight people’s diverse needs when they choose to leave their cars behind. In addition, Possible will use the findings to develop a campaign launching later in the spring of 2022, encouraging a larger cohort of the British public to also try going car free.
Cities for living
Ultimately, Possible’s project aims to encourage many more people to cut their private car usage in the future, analyse the real pros and cons for drivers to do so and, hopefully, inspire many others to convert from cars to low or no-carbon forms of transport. With transport still the most significant contributor to the UK’s carbon emissions, Possible’s actions align with our vision to create towns and cities that are free from congestion and pollution by providing micromobility options that support a modal shift or multimodal lifestyle.
Like Possible we aim high. With a target to replace over one billion car journeys and avoid up to two million tonnes of direct emissions from cars by 2030, we aim to reduce the reliance on fossil-fuelled vehicles in cities and towns across the UK and Europe, and, therefore, support countries, cities and towns to reach their net-zero targets.
Sandra Green, campaigner at climate charity Possible, said:
“I’ve been car free for 10 years now and honestly, it’s made such a positive impact on my life. Through this project I hope we can enlighten people as to the wonders of going car free. But at the same time we hope to gather valuable feedback from a group of individuals, with a range of lived experience, that means we can go on to make practical, green propositions to decision-makers in our cities that could make it more convenient and rewarding to live car free. Changing attitudes towards transport is a gradual process and I can’t wait to hear all of the observations made by our drivers.”