Tag Archive: Mobility as a Service

  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. POLIS publishes new report on shared micromobility

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    Source: EU Urban Mobility Observatory

    The new report, “Catch me if you can!”, analyses how European cities are regulating shared mobility

    POLIS, the network for European cities and regions to work together in developing innovative technologies and policies for local transport, has undertaken extensive research with stakeholders to gather their insights on the key issues and challenges that have emerged with the rise of shared micromobility. Those consulted include individual cities, public practitioners and private operators.

    For local and regional authorities, shared micromobility represents a complex governance challenge, where many aspects – sustainability, safety, innovation, regulation and more – must be balanced.

    Some might argue that regulation should be a prerequisite for the deployment of shared micromobility services and schemes. However, the reality is that mobility services have often been put in place before adequate regulation has been established. Most local and regional authorities have found themselves having to regulate services which were already in use, and without clarity about how to achieve this.

    The POLIS report explores: 

    • How local and regional authorities are regulating shared mobility.
    • What has and has not worked, and learnings from these experiences.
    • The differences and similarities between cities.
    • Potential future strategies for both public authorities and private operators.

    In the face of rapid change and increased public demand, local and regional governments have based their regulations on local context and with use of the tools available. Critical aspects within authorities’ jurisdiction include issues such as urban space allocation, vehicle requirements, and user behaviour. The primary challenge is that of introducing newer modes of transport such as shared micromobility into pre-existing infrastructure that is primarily shaped around private cars.

    For the future, it is important to balance the regulation of new transport modes with the possible changes around the traditional monopoly of private cars. Climate neutrality goals demand a shift away from the conventional ways urban transport has been organised, and it is more and more relevant to explore strategies for incorporating shared mobility and other transport modes into urban mobility ecosystems. The role of policy and regulations is to build effective frameworks for including new transport modes into the mobility mix. Transport planners must also consider topics such as redistributing space in favour of more sustainable, safe and health-promoting transport means.

    The POLIS report can be read here.

  3. LEVA-EU Member Dott shares new data on LEV usage as a result of the Energy Crisis

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    Source: Intelligent Transport

    According to the latest data from Mobility-as-a-service provider Dott, the energy crisis has encouraged more Europeans to travel using shared e-scooter and e-bike services.

    The survey, which considers the views of 1,402 Dott riders from across Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, and the UK, found that over a third (36%) of its shared micromobility fleet users have switched their mobility habits as a direct result of the energy crisis. Within this group, 49% of riders were over the age of 55.

    Dott correlates these increases to a drop in car usage; 69% of riders that previously travelled by car or taxi had reduced these methods of transport in exchange for micromobility options. Additional key findings include:

    • 41% of Dott users have reported increased usage of bikes (private or shared) to move around the city since joining the service.
    • 63% of riders connect their ride with other public transportation options.
    • 50% of riders use Dott vehicles to reach work or school, and 61% to reach a private residence.
    • 34% of riders are now women, an increase of 48% since 2020.

    Henri Moissinac, Co-Founder and CEO of Dott, said: “Our shared e-scooters and e-bikes can help lower the cost of travel, whether for a whole journey or combined with public transport for longer trips. Charged by green energy, and with our operations relying on cargo bikes and e-vans, our fleet of vehicles provide efficient, environmentally friendly and affordable travel, at a time when fuel costs are putting people’s finances under pressure.”

  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. UK shared e-scooter trials reach 30 million total journeys

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    Source: Zag Daily, O. O’Brien

    Since launching in the summer of 2020, the UK’s shared e-scooter schemes have reached a total of 30 million journeys across multiple locations and providers.

    At present, there are 45 e-scooter fleets based in the UK, totaling 24,000 vehicles. These were established on a trial basis to test the potential for micromobility options in the UK’s urban areas. The trial officially came to a close on 30 November 2022, and local authorities must now decide on extending the scheme in their area until 31 May 2024.

    Status of extension, as reported by Zag Daily:

    • Confirmed: London, Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge, Southampton, Bournemouth/Poole, Colchester, Chelmsford, Salford, Portsmouth, Basildon, Norwich, York, Cheltenham, Chester, Isle of Wight, Great Yarmouth, High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Yeovil, Gloucester, Princes Risborough, Sunderland (with new operator), Taunton, Minehead.
    • Anticipated: Liverpool, Nottingham, Northampton, Newcastle, Milton Keynes, Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby, Rushden & Higham Ferrers, University of Warwick, Oxford, Middlesbrough.
    • No news yet: Redditch, Hartlepool, Scunthorpe, Whitehaven, West Bromwich.
    • Closing: Canterbury, Slough.

    UK Fleet distribution and journey totals, as reported by Zag Daily:

    • Bristol (Voi): 7.1 million in 25 months
    • Liverpool (Voi): 3.4 million in 25 months
    • Northampton (Voi): 2.1 million in 26 months
    • Nottingham (Superpedestrian replaced WIND): 2.1 million in 25 months
    • London (Tier, Lime and Dott): 2 million in 18 months 
    • Also over 1 million: Milton Keynes (Lime, TIER, Ginger), Birmingham (Voi) and Cambridge (Voi). 
    • Close to 1 million: Newcastle (Neuron) and Southampton (Voi)

    Voi is one of the UK’s most successful micromobility providers. Head of Public Policy for UK and Ireland Matthew Pencharz, shared with Zag Daily: “Reaching more than 30 million rides highlights the UK as one of the most dynamic and exciting markets for micromobility in Europe. 

    “Over the last two years, Voi has established itself as an important part of people’s daily lives in how they get around. Recent research shows that in 2022 alone its services created more than £50m in economic and social value.

    “While there has been a demonstrable success in the modal shift away from the car, micromobility remains a nascent industry in the UK. For the long-term viability of the industry, operators need to work actively with cities and central Government to ensure a level playing field for all and that the cost of operating in the UK doesn’t threaten their ability to deliver a financially sustainable service.”

  6. ‘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
  7. 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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