Last week, the Swedish micromobility operator Voi announced the launch of its redesigned parking racks in the UK, created to “help reduce street clutter and improve e-scooter parking habits.”
At the heart of this project lies also the aim to address the needs of blind and partially sighted pedestrians. For that reason, Voi has been collaborating with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) since January.
The new parking racks have extended and raised side panels to enclose the whole length of the e-scooter. They have also increased color contrast on all sides, so that they can be more visually distinctive. This way, cane users can locate and avoid the scooter rack more easily.
Each rack can hold up to 10 escooters, and the first RNIB redesigned racks will be installed in Birmingham and then introduced in areas where Voi is trialing its escooters, including Liverpool and Cambridge, for instance.
According to the company, they have already taken measures to fulfill RNIB’s recommendations by focusing on key aspects such as rider education, training, and escooter sound alerts.
Part of its plan to encourage good parking behavior is also the “end of ride photo” feature in the Voi app, which implements fines for bad or reckless parking.
Truth be told, Voi and RNIB’s redesigned racks sounds like a beautiful initiative, and it might actually work as inspiration for other escooter operators such as Lime, Tier, and Dott, who will hopefully follow soon.
But perhaps brand agnostic parking would be a better solution to a universal problem that affects everyone. Shouldn’t this be a public scheme instead?
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