Tag Archives: scooters

Tucson Expanding Shared Mobility

Young woman on an electric scooterThe City of Tucson first piloted a shared e-scooter program in fall 2019, and extended that pilot through COVID-19. Now, with micro-mobility’s popularity growing, the city is seeking growing shared mobility program.

Full details are available on the city’s website, but it’s seeking vendors and partners to make e-scooters available in the city going forward. Two applicants will be chosen to provide scooters for 12 months, with the option to renew for three additional 12-month terms.

Micro-mobility grew during COVID and is projected to become even more popular. If your organization is growing its program, we’d love to hear about it.

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.

Ways Cities are Leveraging Micro-mobility for Good

Micro-mobility–shared scooters, bikes, etc.–is proving fantastic for getting people around, particularly in a COVID world. But a new resource says cities have evolved in the way they work with the vehicles and social good is coming from that.

The Micro-mobility Policy Atlas, developed by the Shared-use Mobility Center, New Urban Mobility Alliance, and World Resources Institute, tracks more than 100 micro-mobility policies in 25 countries, and shows trends, including:

  • Equity mandates and policies resulting in more equitable distribution of micro-mobility throughout cities and surrounding areas.
  • Managing system growth through safety infrastructure improvements.
  • Fleet caps that minimize waste and street/sidewalk clutter.

The trends are growing and will be tracked further through the atlas.  Read more about it here.


Lime Pushes for Mobility-as-a-Service Status

Lime, once known for its huge fleet of ubiquitous green bikes, announced it will allow third-party transportation service providers to offer their services inside its app, growing from a bike and scooter booking service to a MaaS provider.

Wheels, which offers pedal-free e-bikes, will be the first to join Lime inside its app. Users will be able to find and reserve Wheels bikes and Lime scooters and bikes in the app, with more partners expected later this year. The MaaS platform will launch in Austin, Texas; Miami, Fla.; and Seattle, Wash. in the U.S., and Berlin, Germany in Europe. Lime scooters are already part of the Uber app, along with other modes of transportation, in a similar evolution.

Read more here.

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.

Is This Micro-mobility’s Moment?

A kick scooter on a city sidewalkSince COVID-19 lockdowns started in March, micro-mobility has struggled and several big players have either exited specific markets or left the field altogether. But with more people around the world heading back to work and wary of trains and buses, micro-mobility may be enjoying a big boom–and a chance to ingrain itself into city culture.

Several cities are reporting huge increases in the number of people using shared bikes and scooters, and at least one company is rolling out a leasing model, where a user would have a specific device to use for a monthly fee rather than hitting the dock or an app to claim one every day.

Key, some experts say, is avoiding monopolies, which left several cities’ riders stranded when companies collected their vehicles and left the markets during the pandemic.

Is this micro-mobility’s big moment? Read it here.

London Begins Reopening, Sees Commute Demands Change

London Mind the Gap iconLondon, England, has begun emerging from its COVID-19 shutdown and, according to the Evening Standard, is already seeing changes to demand for different commuting modes:

  • Forty percent of Londoners say they’re hesitant to use the Tube rail system. Before COVID-19, 58 percent of people working in the city used the train or bus to get to work. Estimates are the system can only hold 13 to 15 percent of capacity while maintaining social distancing.
  • The government is encouraging people to use bikes, scooters, and their feet to get around when possible. Estimates say about half of London commutes are less than three miles long.
  • Car traffic is expected to spike but the city’s congestion charge returns to effect today and gets more expensive June 22. The city plans to ban cars from several major routes in an effort to calm traffic.
  • Electric scooters, which were banned from roads before the shutdown, are expected to be allowed in new and existing bike lanes.
  • Experts say most people won’t return to 9 to 5 desk jobs for quite some time, if ever, so they hope to get people back on the Tube, just on alternative schedules.

Read the whole story and analysis here.

Micro-mobility, Parking, Data, and Your Operation: Looking Ahead

A scooter parked on a sidewalk in a cityBy Nathan Donnell, CAPP

The micro-mobility movement has exploded around the globe in the last three to five years. Government agencies woke up to find e-scooters and bikes dropped onto sidewalks for the general public to use. For the most part, the public has embraced this new form of transportation. However, agencies have been challenged to find the balance between safety, sustainability, street clutter, and revenue generation.

If your agency is weighing different micro-mobility options, which one or ones do you choose? Have you figured out how many units to allow per vendor? Who’s responsible when the units are left in prohibited areas? How do you access the data from each vendor? Is the data valuable for your operations? What do you do with the data when you get your hands on it?

Various studies claim more than 60 percent of 0- to 5-mile trips are taken via micro-mobility options. This mode of transportation adds to the options from which the public can choose. It can even bridge gaps in areas where traditional transport modes may be lacking, such as government-run bus routes.

IPMI’s Technology Committee has scheduled a webinar that will discuss benefits, challenges, and questions to ask when agencies are approached by vendors. Mark March 18 on your calendar and click here to register.

Nathan Donnell, CAPP, is director, western U.S. and Canada sales, curbside management solutions, with Conduent, and a member of IPMI’s Technology Commmittee.

My E-scooter Rental Experiment

By Scott C. Bauman, CAPP

Last fall, I took my family into Denver for a special excursion–to rent electric scooters for the very first time and explore our vibrant downtown. The experience was quite informative. We rode all around the central business district, stopped for some famous local ice cream, spent time watching kayakers, and experienced the shared-mobility e-scooter craze to its fullest.

This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment family adventure. It was a strategic, work-related field trip to gather facts. I intended to road-test and witness firsthand the various interactions, challenges, and benefits of shared mobility e-scooters. With the word “mobility” in my work title, I needed to experience this emerging mode personally.

We deliberately rode on different roadways: sidewalks, exposed bike lanes, protected bike lanes, trails, open streets, shared sharrow streets, and a pedestrian-only mall that prohibits e-scooters (to see what would happen; nothing happened). I wanted to witness and feel for myself how they operated, how the smartphone app interacted with users, and of course, my direct interactions with motor vehicles, parked vehicles, pedestrians, sidewalk obstacles, and other modes of transportation.

My field experience yielded a wealth of valuable information–so much so that I can say without hesitation that I strongly recommend every parking, mobility, and transportation professional considering these types of shared operations should do exactly what I did and gather the field facts firsthand. Relying solely on news articles and press reports does not give you the comprehensive picture needed to make informed decisions. The hands-on information gathered allowed me to intelligently update my city’s shared mobility policies with factual experience. It also allowed me to educate and articulate my experiences to executive staff and council members. That insight was priceless!

If you are considering shared e-scooter operations and have not already rented a scooter for yourself, I encourage and challenge you to do a similar field experiment. The real-world experiences and takeaways (positive and negative) will absolutely shape and broaden your knowledge, and you’ll probably have a bit of fun getting them.

Scott C. Bauman, CAPP, is manager of parking and mobility services for the City of Aurora, Colo.