Tag Archive: Shared Mobility

  1. 17 ‘eHubs’ now operational in Amsterdam

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    Source: fietsberaad

    The final 7 Amsterdam hubs have recently been completed, bringing the total to 17. At such locations, city-goers can borrow a shared bike, cargo bike, car, or scooter.

    The eHubs have become operational on a trial basis with a subsidy. Further European cities including Arnhem, Nijmegen, Leuven and Manchester are operating similar schemes. The hubs act as a research point for various universities conducting research on the interchangeability of shared mobility in modern cities.

    Three of the recently added eHubs are located at the Amsterdam Science Park. Three other eHubs are set up in Amsterdam-West and one is operational in Watergraafsmeer.

    Due to the Hubs only becoming functional in recent months, their success cannot yet be confirmed. However, other EV rental schemes have seen steady increases since launch.

  2. Bird brings e-scooter service to festival city of Indio, CA

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    Bird scooters have officially launched in Indio, California.

    The exclusive pilot means that a fleet of industry-leading Bird Three scooters will help serve not only the sustainable mobility needs of the city’s nearly 100,000 residents, but of the more than one million visitors who flock to the City of Festivals every year for events such as Coachella and Stagecoach, both just having successfully taken place after the launch. 

    “We are excited to welcome Bird to the City of Indio,” said Mayor Waymond Fermon. “Whether going to the Farmers Market downtown, seeing some of the city’s new sculptures, commuting to work or school, residents and visitors now have another fun, eco-friendly way to get around.”

    Riders will be able to travel throughout Indio as well as the neighboring city of Coachella, helping reduce reliance on personal cars for short distance transportation while also potentially driving significant consumer spending at local businesses.

    Of course, like any new system of transportation, it helps to know the rules before you ride. To make this easier, Bird have put together a quick guide to their exclusive scooter pilot in Indio in their blog.

  3. CoMoUK – New developments and shared transport: cutting car dependency

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    Source: CoMoUK

    CoMoUK has released its latest research paper, discussing the underpowered and inconsistent approach to development in the UK in regard to shared transport and its potential to deliver sustainable mobility.

    CoMoUK plays a leading role in the UK’s transition to integrated mobility solutions designed for the public good. CoMoUK supports the development of shared modes including bikes, scooters, buses, and cars.

    The new paper, which can be accessed in full here, discusses the state of shared mode development in the UK. “There is widespread planning approval of schemes that lock in car dependency. Shared transport is often not included within scheme design at all, and elsewhere it is only included at a very small scale (e.g. a single car club vehicle). However, there are numerous developments that are being planned around the ability of sustainable transport, including shared options, to cut the need for parking spaces, improve place and air quality and deliver ‘gentle density.”

    The paper goes on to explore multiple case studies, including locations such as Exeter and Leeds, providing recommendations for the future and best practice guidelines. Key recommendations revolve around redefining planning policy, coordinating planning and transportation initiatives, and limitations on private car facilitations.

  4. European Shared Mobility Index – 2021 year in review now available

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    Get access to the full review here.

    The latest European Shared Mobility Index has been released, providing market-by-market fleet breakdowns, ridership & per capita trip data, modal snapshots, industry highlights, and more.

    Alongside the year in review, full reports are available for each quarter of 2021, tracking the shared mobility boom across 100 European cities.

    The report is compiled by fluctuo Mobility Intelligence, one of Europe’s leading aggregators of data on shared mobility services (bikes, scooters, mopeds, cars). They combine data collection methods, algorithms, and a team of mobility experts to produce exhaustive, accurate data. This includes daily data on more than 200 shared mobility services in 100 European cities.

  5. Insight from McKinsey & Company on shared vs private escooter preference

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    Source: McKinsey & Company

    The global management consulting firm has shared findings and thoughts on consumer preferences for ownership of e-kickscooters in comparison to use of shared services.

    A July 2021 survey by the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility, the Mobility Ownership Consumer Survey, returned responses showing that a staggering 70% or those who answered would use micromobility for their daily commute. Of these, 12 percent said that they would use e-kickscooters as their preferred vehicle type. The follow up article takes a focus on such trips for e-kickscooters and analyze the preferred ownership types.

    Now ubiquitous in many cities and in the press, escooter sharing services first launched in the USA in 2017. Their popularity began to rise in 2019, with various companies competing for a portion of the market. The docked or dockless shared models however, warrant further discussion when it is taken into account that only 6 percent of respondents in the survey preferred a shared service when it comes to escooters.

    To break down the numbers in more detail, the article states that 64% of those who said they would use an escooter to commute preferred private ownership. Operational leasing or subscription came in a moderate second at 23%. If we consider this a ‘private’ form of ownership, the combined total is 87%. For shared forms including peer-to-peer, station-based, and free-floating services, a low 13% stated this as their preference.

    Image credit: McKinsey & Company

    Reasons for such a preference for private ownership of escooters were varied:

    “33 percent stated that they did not want to share a vehicle with others, and 32 percent wanted the flexibility to carry their vehicle onto a subway or bus. Interestingly, 22 percent of respondents stated that they decided to purchase a private e-kickscooter after trying one out in a sharing service”

    Manufactures are presented with mixed takehomes from this information. Where private use entails better care and storage and less wear and tear, the longer lifespan of each unit may result in lower sales figures. At the same time, an individual may be willing to invest in better features and quality, which can increase margins, or they may be open to buying more than one model.

    The article recommends: “To win in this potentially lucrative market, manufacturers should consider increasing their focus on B2C sales through dealers and other channels. They could also consider offering subscription-based services, which would provide users with an option between owning and renting.”

    Challenges are certainly in store for shared mobility businesses. Rapid uptake can be seen as an advantage for this format when entering new markets, but it would be prudent to consider the incorporation of subscription or leasing models. This can offer stability in the form of recurring revenue, as well as some chance at capturing those users similar to the 23% of respondents mentioned above. Another benefit might come in the form of sales of decommissioned shared scooters. Once they are due to retire from the fleet, the popularity of the escooter means additional revenue may be found in the sale of this stock, which could be re-invested back into the active fleet.

    Another sector which may be affected by the rise of the escooter is public transit. Since a large portion of micromobility journeys are replacing those which might have been taken by public transport. The article notes that it is not certain that their journey share will fall, but nonetheless has recommendations on adjustments that could be considered. These include storage space for escooters on their vehicles, which can help not only to retain, but even to gain customers. In a similar vein, employers should look at such storage provisions in the workplace, to contribute towards a happier and healthier staff. A step further for employers looking to embrace the rise of escooters would be financial incentives, offering micromobility vehicles in much the same way as company cars.

  6. Centre for London report lauds shared e-scooters and advises regulations needed

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    A recent report recommends that the use of private and shared e-scooters be legalised, hand in hand with the introduction of thorough and practical safety measures.

    With shared e-scooters having been in a trial phase in the UK capital for over four months now, Centre for London, a dedicated think tank focused on developing new solutions to London’s critical challenges, has released a report looking at how micromobility vehicles such as e-scooters and e-bikes could help to reduce car use, cut carbon emissions, and improve air quality in the capital. 

    Key findings state that:

    “Two thirds of car trips in London could be made by micromobility vehicles in 20 minutes or less, with most of these trips taking place in outer London where there are fewer public transport options.”

    and

    “Micromobility vehicles emit between 34 and 90 per cent (shared e-scooter vs private bike) fewer carbon emissions than private cars, and do not produce harmful pollutants at the point of use.”

    Some measures put forward included giving powers to Transport for London to manage shared e-scooter schemes within the city, making sure all vehicles meet minimum safety standards, and making it a requirement for shared scheme providers to locate schemes in neighbourhoods with fewer public transport options. The government can also support lower-income and ethnic minority groups in making e-scooters more accessible through tax incentives and loans.

    The report calls specifically on the government to enact these changes, and outlines how improvements are needed, for instance in streamlining the riding and parking experience, and in ensuring more joined-up services across regions. Operators too can raise their game, in areas such as pricing, delivery of training, vehicle safety measures and more.

    Josh Cottell, Research Manager, Centre for London said:

    “Legalising private ownership and riding is the first step towards building a gold standard for micromobility in the UK, with Transport for London – and other equivalent authorities in towns and cities across the country given the powers to arrange shared schemes for micromobility vehicles as they emerge.”

    Read more: https://www.centreforlondon.org/news/legalising-escooters-cut-car-use/

    Download the full report here: https://www.centreforlondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Micromobility_in_London_Report.pdf

  7. Are shared vehicles shared by all?

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    Article by: Jennifer Dill, Ph.D – Portland University

    I’m happy to share a new article I wrote with Nathan McNeil that reviews the research on shared mobility and equity, “Are shared vehicles shared by all? A review of equity and vehicle sharing.” It will appear in a special issue of the Journal of Planning Literature: Transportation and Cities in the 21st Century: Will New Mobility Technologies Make Cities More Sustainable? The issue is edited by Gulsah Akar and Harvey Miller, at The Ohio State University.

    We sought to understand whether shared vehicle systems – carsharing, bikesharing, and e-scooter sharing – are equitable, based on the research to date. The bottom line? No, not really, but there is potential. To answer our main question, we examine evidence in three categories.

    • Physical proximity to shared vehicles. This is a pre-requisite for accessibility. If the shared vehicles are not located nearby, not much else matters.
    • The use of vehicles by different target population groups. If some groups are underrepresented, this may indicate lower accessibility. That could be due to lack of physical proximity, but also other barriers such as physical ability, income, or lack of required technology.
    • Why and how different groups use (or not) shared vehicles. This type of evidence can reveal whether any differences in usage rates are explained by inequitable accessibility rather than differences in preferences.

    We review evidence from over 120 articles and reports related to five population characteristics: income, race/ethnicity, age (older adults), gender, and disability. We also cover programs and policies to address equity, though research on the impacts of such efforts are limited.

    Overall, we did not find much evidence that vehicle sharing systems are improving accessibility for disadvantaged populations, though some modeling efforts indicate the potential for doing so. Some of our findings include:

    • There are disparities in proximity to shared vehicles, particularly proximity to bikeshare for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and lower-income people. There are not many studies that look at proximity to carshare vehicles.
    • There are also disparities in the use of shared vehicles. Several studies find that BIPOC people use carsharing and bikesharing less, but it is sometimes unclear how much of the difference can be attributed to race vs. income.
    • Very few studies attempt to explain differences in use by these groups and only do so for bikesharing. Those studies find several barriers for BIPOC people and low-income people, ranging from lack of credit cards or information to fear of police harassment.
    • Women are less likely than men to be carshare members and even less likely to use shared bikes or e-scooters. The reasons for not using bikeshare are likely the same as why women do not bike as much as men, at least in countries with low rates of cycling. The reasons for not using carsharing are not clear.
    • The findings from limited amount of research on e-scooter sharing are mixed, but there is not strong evidence that those systems are significantly more equitable than bikesharing.
    • People with disabilities are essentially ignored in the research about vehicle sharing, and older adults are rarely considered.

    Vehicle sharing offers the potential to improve mobility and accessibility for disadvantaged populations. The research we reviewed shows some efforts to help vehicle sharing achieve that potential, but there were many gaps. I’ll highlight a couple here.

    First, the research that focuses on equity and vehicle sharing tends to be about bikesharing. There are likely many reasons for this, including the interests of researchers and funding agencies, availability of open data, greater public agency role in bikesharing (vs. carsharing), and greater visibility of bikesharing systems. These factors also contribute to a growing effort to make bikesharing more equitable. This is all great, but where is the effort to make carsharing more equitable? Given that many cities lack safe bicycle infrastructure and trip distances make bicycling (or e-scootering) difficult, there may be more potential for improving accessibility through carsharing. The benefits of access to a vehicle for low income people are well documented. Carsharing could provide a more economical and financially sound way of achieving those benefits, in combination with transit. There are efforts in California around expanding electric carsharing to low-income communities. Hopefully, we’ll learn from those efforts.

    Second, the research is somewhat limited by the data and methods being used. Researchers have clearly taken advantage of the open data available from bikeshare systems and methods of scraping on-line data. Pair this with various GIS and Census data and you can create some cool visualizations and more regression models than anyone needs. These studies are good for assessing physical proximity. However, demographic data on users is usually minimal, so they provide limited insight on whether and how the vehicles are used by different groups. Some studies rely on user or member surveys, which provide information, but only of users. Few studies use data from both users and non-users, and rarely are those done specifically to understand vehicle sharing and equity. I understand why this is the case. Having done a study on bikeshare equity that collected survey data from users and non-users, I know that it is not easy or cheap. And, evaluating the impacts of equity programs is even more challenging than understanding access and barriers.

    There is a lot more in the paper, which is available on the journal’s website. If you are at a university and have access to Sage journals, I recommend downloading that version. But, if you do not, we have made available the “author’s version” of the paper. This is a pdf of the document that was accepted for publication. This file has some typos and other small things that were fixed prior to typesetting and publication. You can download and use it for non-commercial use.

    Please find the article at the LEVA-EU Website or go to Sage Journal.

    Photo by Kumpan Electric on Unsplash

  8. Green Light for Electric Micromobility Trial in Milan

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    Towards the end of 2019, the Municipality of Milan decided to take part in a micro-mobility national trial promoted by the Italian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. The installation of 130 road signs in the inner city centre is complete and shared e-scooters are available for residents and tourists to be used.

    The trial period will last until July 2021 and people using their own e-scooters will need to pay specific attention and respect clear cut rules. Traffic is permitted only along specific road segments; all vehicles, e-scooters, segways, hoverboards and single wheels, can circulate in pedestrian areas as long as the speed does not exceed 6 km/h, while only scooters and segways can circulate on cycle paths and in Zone 30, limiting the speed to 20 km/h.

    Read the entire article on Eltis’ website

    Photo credit: Markus Spiske

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