Tag Archive: MaaS

  1. New bike taxi service kicks off in Paris

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    Source: The Mayor

    From the 23rd of February, a fresh mode of transportation became available for hire on the streets of Paris. Dubbed Heetch Bike, this innovative service introduces a taxi alternative where a cyclist chauffeurs a passenger cabin. Initially, its operations are confined to weekends. Heetch Bike itself is distinct from conventional car cabs and the trending tuk-tuks, which have recently gained favour among tourists in the French capital.

    Heetch Bike aims to assuage concerns surrounding the viability of this type of transport hire with its ambitious proposition: “Our promise is travel within Paris 40% faster and 20% cheaper than VTC,” as quoted by 20Minutes. VTC is the French term for cab services operating beyond the traditional taxi licensure sphere, encompassing various hired transport services with drivers, such as Uber. Heetch Bike aims to capitalize on the surging popularity of bicycles in Paris and the decreasing role of private cars.

    According to Actu Paris, the company’s assertion of faster service than cabs is predicated on the anticipation of Limited Traffic Zone (ZTLs) implementation in the city centre later this year, which will curtail and confine car traffic in the area. This presents a prime opportunity for sustainable mobility alternatives like bicycles to take over the streets as a swifter means of navigating downtown Paris.

    For those concerned about the comfort level of bike taxis compared to cars, Heetch Bike assures that their cabins feature heated bench seats, protective windshields, and a glass roof. Therefore, passengers are guaranteed a comfortable journey regardless of atmospheric conditions.

  2. Micromobility in 2024: Aon’s seven key trends outlined

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    Source: ZAG Daily

    Benjamin Hindson, Digital Economy Chief Commercial Officer of Aon, outlines his selection of key micromobility trends for 2024

    The past year has been busy for micromobility – nearly half, or 46%, of respondents in a McKinsey consumer survey are open to switching from their private vehicles to alternative modes of transportation in the next decade. This indicates that the micromobility sector will likely remain a focal point to observe in 2024.

    Here are seven prominent trends poised to revolutionize mobility:

    1. Growth in mobility as a service (MaaS)

    More people are embracing multi-modal travel, opting for a diverse range of transportation options such as scooters, bikes, taxis, and car rentals. It’s one of the reasons we’re seeing growth in MaaS represented by super transport apps which allow users to access multiple services through a single platform. Due to this trend, micromobility providers and operators can afford to specialise while tapping into a broader mobility network.

    2. The rise of mobility hubs

    There is an expected continual rise in multi-modal hubs – centralised areas offering various transport options, centred around existing train stations or taxi hubs. As smart cities advance and we become more connected, these hubs will play a pivotal role in facilitating efficient movement.

    3. Enhanced use of data and telematics

    In the micromobility sector, there is increased data collection and analysis, enabling operators to compare behaviour for a variety of factors (e.g. night vs. day riding, first to multiple-time users, notifications for accidents or interference, whether a scooter has been ridden on the pavement or road, and so on). This data-rich environment enables operators to understand customer decision making, safety patterns and usage across different zones, enabling a comprehensive understanding of risk factors beyond conventional crash hazards.

    4. Increased regulation and expanding personal ownership

    It is anticipated that more countries, regions and cities will adopt a tender process for micromobility operators to run their services in a particular town or city. New UK legislation is expected around the use of e-scooters which could accelerate private use. Despite widespread private ownership of bikes, shared bike schemes thrive, indicating potential coexistence between private and shared micromobility.

    5. Design evolution

    Micromobility vehicles are evolving to be more sustainable, durable, and recyclable; this is likely to carry on in 2024, specifically with continued evolution in terms of their design. The development of micro cars, such as the Citroën Ami – pods for urban mobility – is also expected to gain momentum, meaning more may be seen on the streets.

    6. More consolidation and mergers and acquisitions

    As venture capital funding becomes more expensive for operators, who are overall, not yet profitable, the industry may witness greater consolidation and mergers to achieve scalability and profitability faster. The rate of mergers and acquisitions could pick up in 2024 to accelerate business models.

    7. Insurance competition opportunties

    While there remains a market appetite for general liability cover for micromobility operators, especially where the risk is placed using brokers who understand the risk and the business model, rider liability poses challenges. Next year it’s likely to be very similar unless more insurers enter the scene. New insurers are hesitant due to a lack of understanding for how to apply the data to their existing models. For the right insurer, there are opportunities to foster competition that may benefit micromobility operators.

    Micromobility’s return to Paris

    By the time of the Paris Olympics in July next year, it will be interesting to see how many of these themes are playing out in the first half of 2024. For the city which recently banned rented e-scooters from its streets, micromobility advocates will be interested to see a sponsored range of 250 seated and standing “personal battery electric vehicles“, in place to help athletes, organisers and volunteers move between the venues in Paris.

  3. Major upgrade for Madrid’s shared e-bike fleet

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    Source: TheMayor.eu, T.V. Iolov

    The city’s e-bike service is seeing extensive development, from rebranding, to payment updates, to anti-vandalism measures. The changes come as Madrid continues to work towards fully unlocking the potential of cycling.

    José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the Mayor of Madrid, has unveiled the newly upgraded iteration of Bicimad, the city’s public electrical bicycle system. Firstly, the network is working towards featuring a total 7,500 e-bikes and 611 stations, reaching all 21 districts of the city. Additionally, the new E-FIT model will be made of recycled aluminium, presenting a more manageable, ergonomic and robust design that substantially improves the user experience.

    Key upgrades:

    • Anti-vandalism design: Tires feature an anti-puncture design, an anti-theft system is integrated into the chassis, and all wires and lights are now integrated into the frame.
    • Maintenance: Bicycles anchored in a parking point are permanently monitored, with physical buttons available for users to indicate that maintenance is required.
    • Payment system upgrade: Payments are now possible through MPass, the system associated with buses, car parks etc. in the city.
    Image: TheMayor.eu
  4. Belgian interest in MaaS highlighted in new survey

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    Source: MaaS Alliance, A. De Mol

    Citizens have shown their interest in mobility as a service (MaaS), or shared mobility, in an online study by the Belgian Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport.

    The survey received 3,000 respondents, representative of the population of Belgium, with researchers collecting data on both the current use of mobility apps and future interest in them. The key findings were as follows:

    • The younger the participant, the more likely the use of mobility apps. Route finders were the most commonly used application.
    • Over 40% of smartphone users had no mobility apps.
    • There is huge unexplored potential for MaaS in Belgium. 6 out of 10 respondents stated interest (majority higher employed, educated, male)
    • 80% stated they would use MaaS for recreational trips, and 60% stated they would use MaaS for utilitarian trips.
    • 4 of 10 respondents anticipate that MaaS usage will impact their travel behavior. This is closely linked to the current transport type.

    MaaS Alliance’s Conclusions:

    This first survey conducted on the Belgian population indicates that there is a strong interest in MaaS applications among all age groups. There remains a huge untapped potential for MaaS, shown by the discrepancy between the interest and the actual usage of MaaS applications.
    Important to note is that a strong share of all participants considers to change their travel behavior thanks to MaaS, mainly in favour of public transport. This seems to imply that MaaS solutions will result into a modal shift.

  5. ‘Cycle’ B2C subscription service launches in Berlin – featuring LEVA-EU member Rad Power Bikes

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    Source: SAZ Bike, T. Lambert

    The e-bike rental service Henry Mobility (Berlin), which previously specialized in the commercial sector, is now also aimed at end customers. The subscription service under the name ‘Cycle’ starts in Berlin.

    Rad Power Bikes have paired up with Cycle to provide two cargo bikes for the pilot project: Radrunner and Radwagon. The subscription will be priced at EUR 79.90 per month, with a choice between monthly rentals or a cheaper annual contract.

    Compared to other cargo bikes, Rad Power’s offering may seem small, but with their robust luggage racks at the front and rear and the high payload of 136 and 156 kilograms, they offer significantly more transport options than conventional bicycles.

    Included in the service are maintenance, insurance, and workshop appointments – all available via the smartphone app. Having previously only catered to B2B clients, the service’s launch in Berlin is a new B2C venture, with the potential to expand into additional European cities.

    The Radwagon 4: Available via Cycle, Berlin
  6. Turin’s MaaS service trail nears completion, receiving high marks

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    Source: TheMayor.eu, Iolov, T.V.

    Dubbed the ‘Netflix of mobility’, Turin’s mobility as a service (MaaS) pilot scheme will end at the beginning of October 2022. As the first such initiative in Italy, the project aimed to discourage people from taking their cars when traveling downtown.

    Co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition, the project had a duration of exactly one year. The first, and preliminary, results were presented on Wednesday, 7 September, to the 5T Viability Commission. One hundred individuals who did not own cars were selected for the scheme, with an average age of 39. The single pass granted access to various services including public transport, scooters, taxis, electric scooter, car sharing, and car rental services.

    Positively, of pass holders, 81% of users expressed great satisfaction, with an overall rating of 4.25 out of 5 given to the scheme. Almost all of the testers reported a five-minute reduction in travel times, ten percent say they save up to fifteen minutes. Of available mobility options, the most popular was public transport, followed by car sharing and rental services.

    The success of the scheme has not gone unnoticed, with a further 3.3 million euros in state funding and 1.3 million euros allocated by the Piedmont Region for MaaS projects. The goal is to finalize the project by mid-2023.

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