There is hardly a major city left where e-scooters do not dominate the cityscape. In recent years, they have become an integral part of the urban mobility mix and many users no longer want to miss them on their daily journeys – whether going to work, university or the nearest café. E-scooters are not only practical, but it’s also a lot of fun to ride around the city. With the mobility app Whim, you can easily rent an e-scooter from TIER or Voi and get from A to B quickly and easily and, above all, avoid traffic jams.
In this article, we tell you what an e-scooter (or e-trottinett in Switzerland) is, how to book an e-scooter via the Whim app, how much a ride with an e-scooter costs, which service providers are currently available on the Whim app, and how to get around safely and in compliance with the rules.
What is an e-scooter?
An e-scooter is a miniature vehicle that resembles a classic pedal scooter, but is equipped with an electric motor and is therefore not driven by pedaling. In Switzerland, an e-scooter can be driven at speeds of up to 20 km/h due to the national legal situation.
Due to the concept of e-scooter sharing, e-scooters have become established in recent years, especially in large cities, to quickly and conveniently cover short distances. For example, the use of e-scooters is suitable for the so-called first or last mile, such as the route to or from the bus station to the office or your front door. Many cities hope that the increased use of e-scooters will ease urban traffic congestion or improve the shortage of parking spaces.
Rent e-scooters with Whim
Booking an e-scooter with Whim is easy, fast, and uncomplicated. The big advantage of Whim is that several e-scooter providers are united in the app and therefore it is not necessary to check several apps for the nearest available scooter.
There are two ways to rent an e-scooter: If you are not in the immediate vicinity of an e-scooter, you can search for the nearest one in the “E-Scooter” section of the app. Once you have selected your e-scooter, you can either unlock it by scanning the QR code on the scooter handlebars with your camera or select the desired e-scooter in the app and press the “Unlock Scooter” button.
The prices for renting an e-scooter consist of the activation fee and a driving fee per minute. With TIER, the activation fee is CHF 1 and you are charged CHF 0.40 per minute. With the second e-scooter provider in the Whim app, Voi, the activation fee is also CHF 1 and the cost per minute is CHF 0.39.
Cities and zones
E-scooter sharing has already established itself in many cities in Switzerland, including Basel, Bern, St. Gallen, and Zurich. TIER and Voi, the two e-scooter providers included in the Whim app, are available in the following Swiss cities:
- Basel (TIER, Voi)
- Bern (TIER, Voi)
- Cham (TIER)
- Frauenfeld (TIER, Voi)
- Muri near Bern (TIER)
- Opfikon (TIER)
- Rotkreuz (TIER)
- St. Gallen (TIER)
- Wetzikon (Voi)
- Winterthur (TIER, Voi)
- Zug (TIER)
- Zurich (TIER, Voi)
Furthermore, there are no-parking zones in most cities, where the e-scooters are not allowed to be parked. These “red zones” have been set up so that popular squares, narrow streets, or busy pedestrian areas are not blocked with e-scooters. Such zones can be found, for example, on the Centralbahnplatz near the train station in Basel. But no worries, the Whim app clearly shows you when you are in one of these no-parking zones.
E-Trotti provider in the Whim App
TIER Mobility is headquartered in Berlin and operates in over 85 cities in ten countries. In Switzerland, TIER e-scooters are available in a total of ten cities – Basel, Bern, Cham, Muri near Bern, Opfikon, Rotkreuz, St. Gallen, Winterthur/Frauenfeld, Zug, and Zurich.
Voi is a mobility company from Sweden and was founded in May 2018. Currently, Voi is present in more than 50 cities and eleven countries in Europe and has already recorded well over 35 million trips. In Switzerland, Voi e-scooters are available in a total of five cities – Basel, Bern, Wetzikon, Winterthur/Frauenfeld, and Zurich.
How to ride an e-scooter?
Rent e-scooters from TIER or Voi with Whim
- Open the Whim app and select Scooter/Trotti in the Home view.
- You can see the available e-scooters and their locations in the Whim app.
- Unlock the e-scooter
- Either via QR code (scan or enter the code):
- Select the e-trotti you want to use.
- Point your camera at the QR code on the handlebar of the e-troti to unlock it.
- You can also type in the e-scooter ID to unlock the e-scooter.
- If you have trouble seeing the QR code, for example in the dark, you can use the in-app flashlight feature.
- Or by selecting a specific e-scooter directly on the map:
- Unlock the e-scooter by selecting an e-scooter on the map and tapping “Unlock E-Scooter”.
- This function allows you to unlock the e-scooter from up to 400 meters away.
- Either via QR code (scan or enter the code):
- Follow the instructions for a safe ride displayed on your screen.
- Check the price details and confirm the booking.
- And off you go!
During the ride
- Push a few times with your foot to get going, then press the “Go Button” on the handle to accelerate.
- Use bike lanes, keep your distance from pedestrians and cars, control your speed, follow traffic rules, be smart and wear a helmet.
- You can ride as long as you want until the battery of the e-scooter is empty (you can see the battery level in the Whim app) and as long as you stay within the business area.
- Make sure you are within the business area. If you are unsure, check the map in Whim.
- Make sure you are not in a “no parking” zone. These are the red zones on the map.
- Make sure you move the scooter properly out of the way of passersby and other vehicles. This means not blocking cars, doorways, gates, or sidewalks.
- Once you’ve found a suitable parking spot for your scooter, open Whim and swipe on “End Ride.”
- The price of the ride and the activation fee will be calculated. You can view the details of your ride in the Whim app.
Important things to consider
Your safety is important to us. Therefore, please observe the following safety regulations:
- For your own safety, we recommend wearing a helmet while riding an e-scooter.
- In case of bad weather (e.g. snow or icy conditions) the availability of the e-scooters may be temporarily limited.
- Please respect that you are only allowed to ride an e-scooter alone.
- If you want to be on the very safe side: TIER also offers liability insurance for users.
To drive an e-scooter from TIER or Voi in Switzerland, you must be at least 18 years old.
In Switzerland, you do not need a driving license to drive an e-scooter. However, you must have a minimum of driving skills and knowledge of local traffic rules. And please always ride safely and smartly!
Header image (c) Voi