Tag Archives: micro-mobility

Scooter and Bike Share Program Coming to Sarasota

Scooter and Bike Share Program Coming to Sarasota

Sarasota, FL – New micro-mobility transportation options will soon be available to residents and visitors of Sarasota after the City Commission on Monday approved an agreement with an e-scooter and bike sharing provider.

Veo, a nationwide company based in Chicago, was selected as the exclusive operator in designated areas across Sarasota. About 350-400 scooters (both seated and stand-up) and 50-75 bicycles (traditional and pedal-assisted) will initially be available for rent, with the company having the option to increase the rental fleet if usage requirements are met.

City staff will now be assessing areas of the City where scooter and bike corrals may be operated via geofencing and establishing parking corrals. The service is expected to be available in about 45 days.

Rental costs for scooters will be $1 to unlock them via a mobile app, and 37 cents per minute. Bike rentals will be 50 cents per half hour. Through its Veo Access program, the company also offers discounted rates to low-income users who qualify.

The City will receive a share of the company’s revenues as part of the two-year agreement.

“We’re very excited to be bringing these convenient, safe and cost-effective transportation options to Sarasota,” said Mayor Erik Arroyo. “Having a micro-mobility program will help fill in the gaps in our transportation network for first-mile and last-mile trips to help our citizens get where they want and need to go. I’m looking forward to a long and successful partnership with Veo.”

As part of the agreement, the company has committed to employing locally based staff who will be available to repair and replace vehicles, return misplaced scooters and bikes to parking corrals and respond to any issues.

“Many of the industry’s biggest companies responded to the City’s call for vendors, but we were most impressed with Veo’s plan to make this a true partnership and serve the unique needs of our community,” said Parking Division General Manager Mark Lyons.

Veo operates in more than 35 cities across the country, including St. Petersburg and Gainesville here in Florida.

For more information, visit veoride.com or contact the City of Sarasota Parking Division at 941-263-6475.

About the City of Sarasota:  Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 10 Best Places to Live in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse and inclusive community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 56,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles.  Learn more about us at www.SarasotaFL.Gov

Michigan City Enacts Micro-mobility Regulations

E-scooters and e-bikes will be able to operate on bike paths and sidewalks just like regular bicycles while respecting pedestrians just as regular bikes must in Ann Arbor, Mich., whose City Council gave unanimous preliminary approval to a personal mobility vehicle ordinance last week.

The growth of micro-mobility in the city led to preliminary adoption of the ordinance, which also gives riders the same rights on roads as motorists and lets them park in spaces designated for bikes and cars. It also spells out what riders are responsible for, including safety and personal responsibility around pedestrians.

The regulations are scheduled for a final vote Sept. 20.


Jump Start Employee Biking: How It Can Roll

Shot of a young businesswoman traveling with a bicycle through the cityBy Joshua Cantor, CAPP, and Janet Walker

After the tax law changes of December 2017 eliminated the monthly $20 pre-tax bicycling commuting benefit, George Mason University needed to recalibrate its employee biking program, which is an important cog (pun intended) of the transportation program. We needed to find a way to incentivize faculty and staff bicyclists to keep commuting by bike and to persuade others to bike.

The university’s transportation department did a top-down assessment, including our cycling stakeholders in focus groups and conducting outreach with cyclists during the drafting process. Besides figuring out what was important to cyclists, we had to involve our payroll department, which now would be involved in processing a taxable benefit. A brand new, three-tier incentive system was rolled out in the first quarter of 2019. Employees under the new program could earn benefits such as direct payments, complimentary parking passes, and annual funding for bike maintenance from a local bike shop based on how often and how far they rode to campus. The maximum benefit annually is more than $1300, compared to $240 annually in the older program when bicycle benefits were pre-tax.

A year later, COVID-19 put the program on hold for a bit but gradually, the faculty/staff cyclists are returning. We even added a new introductory tier of support in January 2021 to try to encourage new cyclists who are returning to campus as we progress through the pandemic.

With thousands of employees returning to work in person, it is important to keep incentivizing people to bike to work and reduce our single occupancy vehicle demand, especially as Mason plans to grow considerably and is hoping to reduce the amount of parking that is constructed in the future.

Joshua Cantor, CAPP, is director of parking and transportation, and Janet Walker is manager of transportation programs at George Mason University. They will present on this topic at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, in Tampa, Fla. Click here for details and to register.

New Yorkers Still Loving Transportation by Bicycle

A young African American man explores New York City with his fixed gear bicycle. One World Trade Center visible in skyline behind him.COVID-19 saw a boost to micro-mobility and to biking in cities and urban areas in particular. Those numbers continue to climb, at least in New York City, where more and more residents, visitors, and commuters are embracing two-wheeled transportation through the city.

“Cyclist counts on East River bridges climbed to an average of 25,431 per day in June, 11.4 percent higher than June 2020, which was already well ahead of pre-pandemic 2019 numbers, according to the Department of Transportation,” reported the New York Post this weekend.

The city is planning to add more bike trails and lanes in the future, as micro-mobility continues its increase in popularity. Read the whole story here.


Should Transit Agencies Manage Micro-mobility?

Micro-mobility share has traditionally been managed by municipalities, campuses, or the agencies that brought it into a system. But one expert writes things like bike-share should be managed by transit agencies, and some are beginning to move in that direction.

David Zipper, visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government, writes that bike-share is a natural fit for transit agencies, which have begun seeing themselves as greater mobility providers, particularly since the onset of COVID-19.

“In many ways transit agencies are better equipped to manage bikeshare than cities. Transit staff have much more experience operating and maintaining fleets, for instance. They can also more easily integrate bikeshare into their own stations to simplify intermodal transfers — solving transit’s pesky ‘first-mile problem’ of reaching a station—and allow riders to book a multimodal trip,” he writes at Bloomberg CityLab.

Transit agencies, he says, are perfectly matched to managing bike-share and micro-mobility. Read more here.

Micro-mobility Providers Band Together in Europe

Eight micro-mobility companies have formed a coalition in Europe to claim their seat at the transportation planning table.

Bird, Bolt, Dott, FreeNow, Lime, TIER, Voi, and Wind formed Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE), to join policy discussions and help build a framework for micro-mobility across the continent. Some European nations have adopted micro-mobility slowly and some not at all–Copenhagen, notably, banned scooters after complaints about cluttered sidewalks, and England legalized rental scooters last year but privately-owned devices remain banned on city streets; there is little enforcement of those rules.

Leaders of the new coalition say they hope to use data and industry trends to help shape micro-mobility policy and adoption and work toward zero-emissions transportation. Read the whole story here.

Prepare. Plan. Commute. Debrief.

Woman having ski lesson on mountainBy Kelly Koster

Uncertainty has been the recurring theme of 2020, and I doubt very much will be certain again in 2021. How do you adapt your parking and mobility program for uncertain times? Through skiing of course. Let me explain.

In an effort to social distance my ski habit this winter, I’m moving to the backcountry and taking an avalanche 101 course to prepare. And I’ve found the parallels to mobility planning are uncanny.

Avalanche training is all about minimizing risk and removing as much uncertainty as possible from your ride. The planning isn’t sexy (leave that to the fresh powder tracks), but it’s very necessary. In the backcountry, we use a framework to manage risk and uncertainty with diligent preparation, planning, technology, education, and teamwork. Do the best you can with the information you have available. Continually learn while riding; debrief and improve in real-time. Prepare. Plan. Ride. Debrief.

Now, re-read that paragraph and replace Ride with Commute.

Currently, the world of parking and commuting is full of uncertainty, and the avalanche training framework can help us prepare for an avalanche of another kind–overwhelming congestion and parking demand.

As the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed to frontline workers, the return-to-office timeline has seen more certainty building around it. Major companies across the U.S. are announcing plans for hybrid workplaces once the pandemic subsides. This means more choice for employees–more flexibility to work from home OR the office. And when making the daily decision to commute, they can get there by foot, bus, bike, car, or scooter.

The key to unlocking this new world of work for your employees? Adaptable parking technology with the power to accommodate flexible schedules and modes of transportation. Now is the time for industry professionals to share, learn, and adopt best practices as we begin planning our return to the workplace in 2021.

Just like in the backcountry, we’re in this together. We depend on each other. And we need to work together to solve the challenges that lie ahead by giving our businesses, commuters and cities that much more certainty when it comes to transportation, parking, and mobility.

Kelly Koster is the director of marketing and corporate affairs at Luum. Together with parking and mobility leaders from Arrive, Bedrock Detroit, and Expedia Group, she will moderate a panel on “The Hybrid Workplace: What it means for parking technology, commute flexibility, and mode shift” at IPMI’s Mobility & Innovation Summit Feb. 24-25, online. Click here for details and to register.

Ask the Experts: The Future of Micro-mobility

Conversation bubbles with the words question and answer.Experts say micro-mobility will emerge as a major form of transportation, especially in cities and on campuses, as we re-open after COVID-19. How do you think the industry could best take advantage of this trend?

That’s the question we posed to our Ask the Experts panel for the September issue of Parking & Mobility, and the answers we got were quite insightful. A few additional thoughts we loved:

  • “Individually, cities and campuses need to reach out to those that have already utilized forms of micromobility to learn the best uses, possible challenges, and ways to adequately implement their services.” – Mark Lyons, CAPP, parking division manager, City of Sarasota, Fla.
  • “The time is now to create mobility hubs, car-free zones, wider sidewalk design standards, protected bike lanes, adaptive re-use of on-street parking, and to look at urban design as more transportation-friendly and safer. There is definitely an opportunity for impactful conversation and for micro-mobility industry and urban planners  to partner with municipal and community leaders to engage the public in the conversation and ultimately create a safer environment for all users.  Engaging the public in a meaningful way will create a sense of community belonging which is so needed during this challenging transition.” – Kathryn Hebert, PhD, director transportation, mobility, and parking, City of Norwalk, Conn.
  • “COVID-19 will result in speeding up the pace of the transformation of public and private transportation as the need for smaller groups remains a key focus. It is also an opportunity to enhance public and private transportation by catering more to the specific needs of ridership in addressing the first- and last-mile of riders commutes by providing more specifically tailored transportation options.” –Larry J. Cohen, CAPP, executive director, Lancaster Parking Authority, Pa.

Read from more our experts in this month’s magazine. Interested in joining our panel as an expert? Email Kim Fernandez.

Los Angeles Delays Micro-mobility Regulations Designed to Boost Equity

Shared electric scooter against a city wall.The transportation committee of the Los Angeles City Council approved strict new rules governing micro-mobility distribution and use through the city but delayed roll-out until the end of the year. Companies providing shared scooters and bikes praised the delay, saying the new regulations are too expensive and difficult to comply with, and they hoped an extra few months will present time for everyone to find a middle ground.

The regulations are partially designed to get more shared, human-powered vehicles into low-income neighborhoods while preventing their abandonment on sidewalks and in yards elsewhere. The proposed rules, suppliers say, pose fines and punishments that are too harsh; for its part, the city says an incentive-based program was largely ignored by the companies.

Part of the new regulations includes a per-ride permit fee, set at nothing in low-income areas and up to $.40 per ride in more popular destinations. It also requires companies to retrofit vehicles to be locked to bike racks within six months–a move the companies say would cost them millions of dollars.

Both sides say conversation will continue to iron out details before the regulations go into effect Dec. 31. Read the whole story here.

U.K. Legalizes Shared E-scooters on Roads After COVID-19 Lockdowns

Young woman on an electric scooterCommuters in England, Scotland, and Wales will soon have a new way to get around: As of July 4, shared e-scooters are legal on their roads.

Trips on pubic transportation are down 90 percent since COVID-19 lockdowns began several months ago, and the scooters’ introduction are intended to help people get around while social distancing, without having to own their own cars. Cycling as a mode of transportation has already skyrocketed in the area; walking has als3o jumped in popularity among those who used to use buses or the Tube.

To be permitted on public roads, the e-scooters must be part of shared fleets–privately owned models are still not allowed. Read the whole story here.