Since 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.
By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP
The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has established a mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) initiative to raise awareness of new and emerging issues/technologies.
“The proliferation of ride-hailing, bike-sharing, and most recently electric scooters has expanded the availability of transportation choices and is addressing some of the first- and last-mile issues that exist with traditional transit. They have the potential to affect housing and car-ownership decisions and can provide new travel options for the young, the old, and the disabled,” says an article about the initiative. It goes on to elaborate about challenges, such as curb-space demand, safety concerns, congestion, and accessibility concerns, that come with increased shared-mobility options, right alongside the pluses.
Read the full story here.
L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, is regional vice president with Kimley-Horn.
E-scooters pose an issue in many cities but perhaps none like New York, where they’re too slow for the street and too fast for pedestrian-packed sidewalks. The city is contemplating how to legalize the popular, often shared machines and there’s a new call for a scooter speed limit downtown.
While nothing official has come from the Department of Transportation, there are rumblings–and an all-out call from one attorney who frequently represents injured cyclists–to impose a 15 mph speed limit on e-scooters. The lawyer wants to go so far as to install speed governors on the machines to force them to keep it slow.
Read the whole story here.
By Nathan Donnell
I saw my first shared electric scooter in Santa Monica about a year ago. Since then, the scooters seem to be popping up in cities all over the country. They’re getting mixed reviews from the public. Most people I spoke to who’ve ridden say the scooters are fun and they would use them again. Others say they’re a safety issue and won’t last. The scooters don’t come with helmets, they don’t have turn signals, and they can’t be driven on the sidewalk, which means they need to share the road with automobiles. Most of the time there’s not a dedicated location to store the scooters.
Public officials are clamoring to get regulations put in place for this mode of transportation, which is like no other mode to date. A major city recently impounded more than 300 unpermitted scooters. The city used the scooter company’s app to locate the scooters–a brilliant use of the technology! Some cites have banned scooters altogether. Scooter companies are relying on public popularity to push municipalities into allowing them to be a part of their streets.
Generally, transportation officials across the country are welcoming the scooter craze in hopes it will ease congestion and add one more way to get around city streets, but the officials need to be the ones writing the rules. A few of the areas being looked at are not blocking right of ways, allowable sidewalk mobility, and the use of wheelchair-accessible ramps.
I’m looking forward to seeing if scooters will ease congestion or if they’ll cause more chaos on city streets.
Nathan Donnell is vice president of business development with Premium Parking.