Tag Archive: Urban Mobility

  1. The future of micromobility – an interview with Laka CEO Tobi Taupitz

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    The future of micromobility is an interesting prospect. Soaring fuel costs, environmental pledges, and changing work habits are already seeing our towns and cities transform thanks to micromobility vehicles. But what next?

    Catch up with LEVA-EU Member Laka’s CEO Tobi Taupitz, as he discusses all things micromobility and how LAKA fits into the equation in the organization’s latest press release.

    What is micromobility?

    Micromobility is here to stay. It’s gone from a buzzword in the technology world to a fixture of our everyday lives. Whether that’s the bike we jump on to get to work, or the e-scooters you see in towns and cities.

    But what does ‘micromobility’ actually mean? Well the dictionary definition says micromobility is “the use of small, low-speed vehicles as a means of personal transport”. Seems straightforward enough.

    Tobi has a more detailed view:

    “For me, micromobility means bikes, cargo bikes, e-scooters & e-mopeds – but you can now see all sorts of interesting use cases that don’t quite fit the description. Micromobility really hones in on short(er) distance travel. The use cases are quite interconnected. You can use an e-moped to deliver a pizza or you can use it to get from A to B.

    I suppose what links micromobility is that these aren’t vehicles primarily used for fun. Even if they are a fun way to get around. So I think what we’re talking about is beating traffic and being smarter about getting from A to B.

    When we think about micromobility insurance customers, it’s the commuter and transportation side on the one hand, and it’s the commercial and business side on the other. This narrows down the segments we are serving in the micromobility space.

    Micromobility is evolving of course. There is a BCG paper that came out in May that predicted what Micromobility will look like by 2030, which was super interesting and insightful. It’s just inspiring how the world is changing.”

    Micromobility stats at a glance

    The paper that Tobi refers to paints an interesting picture of the current micromobility landscape too. Here are the key takeaways:

    • Bike ownership is still expected to be the biggest market by volume at €35 Billion Annually
    • Subscription vehicles are the fastest-growing segments in the micromobility market
    • More than 30% of all their survey respondents use a bike several times a week, if not daily
    • Among city dwellers, 41% use a micromobility vehicle to commute
    • The top six reasons people choose micromobility were of almost equal importance: flexibility, reliability, price, the weather (when it is pleasant), safety, and the opportunity to save time by reducing travel time.

    Bikes clearly play a big role in driving micromobility forwards too. A report from We are Possible found that cargo bikes have the potential to cut emissions by 90% compared to diesel vans and are 60% faster than vans in urban centres.

    This is what Pedal Me have managed to achieve through excellent rider training, operational efficiencies, and using the best cargo bikes for the job.

    What does the future look like for micromobility?

    Tobi says the key to micromobility’s success in the future is having vehicles that can outperform traditional cars & vans.

    “We’re seeing cargo bikes that can carry more and more. It’s really taking off. That’s the use case of the EAV for example. It’s more of a van than an e-bike. This shows that some of the creative solutions are already out there.”

    The EAV that Tobi is referring to is an awesome look into how our cities will soon look. If not how they look already.

    EAV build eCargo vehicles for emerging use cases and new urban environments. Their vehicles are designed down from a van, not up from a bike: a fundamental innovation in eCargo bike design. This unique hybrid allows more deliveries in a shorter amount of time by accessing cycle lanes and pedestrian routes.

    Micromobility vehicles are on the rise but how will this affect our towns and cities? What patterns are we seeing in how people now use urban spaces?

    Whilst catching up with EAV we asked head of partnerships Leo Bethell how he sees the future of our urban spaces:

    “Heavy and large vehicles will be removed from the city centre, as vehicle lanes make way for lightweight micromobility options. Cycle and pedestrian infrastructure will take priority over legacy vehicles meaning people will reclaim the city as a safe environment.”

    Making the city a safe environment is critical. Expect to see initiatives like ‘School Streets’ in the UK become commonplace everywhere. School Streets are council-led schemes that restrict motor traffic access outside schools at key times. This leads to safer access to schools and better use of the space outside school by children and families walking, scooting, cycling, and wheeling to school.

    Expect to see many more initiatives that ‘reclaim’ the streets too. It’s fundamental to making our cities greener and more liveable. Designing our streets for humans first and transport / vehicles second is a powerful way to turn the tables on polluted cities & chaotic urban environments.

    The Laka journey so far…

    And where does Laka fit into all of this? Finally we asked Tobi what sets Laka apart from the rest:

    “Well firstly, being tech-driven we have lots of data points compared to your standard business insurer. We have thousands of cargo bikes on the platform and we know very well what the risk looks like. Price is important, but it’s not everything. Service is essential and can be broken down between the actual claims offering, which we have as best in class, I would argue. And then of course it’s our ability and willingness to go beyond that.

    On the one hand, this would be through the products we are offering, liability cover, goods in transit, and I’m sure more in the future. On the other hand, it’s the integration of the ecosystem we build around your needs and your existing operations. If you have fleet management software for example, Laka just seamlessly integrates, captures the right data and makes it super easy to work with you.”

  2. New Expert Group on Urban Mobility including LEVA-EU begins work

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    To implement the new 2021 EU Urban Mobility Framework, a reinforced platform for dialogue and co-creation of actions was announced. The goal is stronger engagement by Member States and improved dialogue with cities, regions and stakeholders on all urban mobility issues. LEVA-EU is one of the 127 selected participants in the Group.


    Following a call for applications over the summer, EU Commission DG MOVE received more than 150 applications from organisations as well as cities and regions to become members of the reformed Commission Expert Group on Urban Mobility (E03863). LEVA-EU is one of the 25 organisations selected as expert for the new Group. In addition, Member States have nominated their representatives at Ministry level.

    Members were selected following a thorough evaluation process, and, as a result, the group will include representatives of:

    • Organisations (25 stakeholders – Type C members)
    • Cities and regions (25 authorities at regional or local level – Type D members)
    • Member States (27 authorities at national level – Type D members)

    The full list of members is available at the Register of Commission Expert Groups.

    The first Group meeting takes place on 25 October 2022.

    To implement the new 2021 EU Urban Mobility Framework(link is external), a reinforced platform for dialogue and co-creation of actions was announced. The goal is stronger engagement by Member States and improved dialogue with cities, regions and stakeholders on all urban mobility issues.

    Following a call for applications(link is external) over the summer, DG MOVE received more than 150 applications from organisations as well as cities and regions to become members of the reformed Commission Expert Group on Urban Mobility (E03863). In addition, Member States have nominated their representatives at Ministry level.

    Members were selected following a thorough evaluation process, and, as a result, the group will include representatives of:

    • Organisations (25 stakeholders – Type C members)
    • Cities and regions (25 authorities at regional or local level – Type D members)
    • Member States (27 authorities at national level – Type D members)

    The full list of members is available at the Register of Commission Expert Groups.(link is external)

    The first Group meeting will take place on 25 October 2022.

    Photo by Gaurav Jain on Unsplash

  3. Santander Cycles has launched e-bikes in London from September

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    Source: Transport for London

    Cycle hire scheme’s offering expanded, with 500 e-bikes added from 12 September

    Transport for London (TfL) and Santander have announced that e-bikes will be introduced to London’s record-breaking Santander Cycles scheme from 12 September.     

    In July, the scheme recorded its busiest month in its history, with more than 1.3 million hires across the month. To support the scheme’s continued success and financial sustainability, TfL and Santander are introducing 500 e-bikes to its fleet, which use an electric motor to assist riders as they pedal. The bikes are being introduced as part of a programme of work to modernise the cycle hire scheme, with funding agreed for the programme in 2020. The new e-bikes will be distributed across key central London locations and will enable even more Londoners to enjoy the benefits that cycling can bring, from improved health to cleaner air. The new bikes will help to break down the barriers that stop some people from cycling, including fitness, age, and journey length. E-bikes will be able to be docked at any of the scheme’s 800 docking stations, giving customers an easy and sustainable way of travelling across a large area of central and inner London.     

    TfL will also be making changes to the Santander Cycles fare tariff from 12 September, to support the introduction of e-bikes and to secure continued investment in cycle hire. The changes will make charges for access more flexible and easier to understand for everyone.      

    Feedback from customers has shown that the current tariff structure, which charges an annual membership fee or a daily access fee of £2, plus additional charges for rides longer than 30 minutes, is complex and inflexible. The changes, which are the first since 2013, include:          

    • A new flat rate of £1.65 per 30-minute ride. This will replace the existing daily access charge, which is £2 for unlimited rides of up to 30 minutes in a 24-hour period, with additional charges for rides over 30 minutes 
    • A new monthly membership option, costing £20 per month. The membership, which can be cancelled at any time, will allow customers unlimited 60-minute rides in the month and will improve the scheme’s offer to people who do not wish to commit to an annual membership           
    • The annual membership will now offer unlimited 60-minute rides, instead of the unlimited 30-minute rides currently offered. The price of an annual membership will increase to £120, reflecting increased running costs and inflation since it was last changed in 2013    
    • E-bikes will initially be available to registered users only, for a fare of £3.30 per 30-minute ride or an additional fare of £1 per 60 minutes for monthly and annual members  

    The £1.65 new flat rate for customers who are not Santander Cycles members matches the price of a bus fare, meaning that Santander Cycles will continue to offer one of the best value ways to get around London.    

    TfL has also confirmed that a number of new docking stations are set to open in the London Borough of Southwark later this year, the scheme’s first expansion since it was introduced to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe in 2019. The new docking stations will be located at Burgess Park Albany Road, South Bermondsey station, Clements Road, Harris Academy, Brandon Street, Crimscott Street and The Blue. The new docking stations will be built with funding from Southwark Council.   

    The scheme has continued to break records for 11 record months in a row, with every month from September 2021 to July 2022 achieving the highest number of hires for that month since the scheme began. The scheme also experienced a historic year in 2021 with a record-breaking number of hires across the year as well as during several different months. 10.9 million hires took place in 2021, surpassing the previous best target set in 2018 by 371,000 hires. More than one million individual customers used the cycle hire scheme last year, the first time this milestone has been reached in a calendar year. 178,000 new members joined the scheme in 2021, a seven per cent increase on 2020 and more than double that of any year prior to 2020. 

    Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: I am delighted to be launching our first ever e-bikes for hire. Another first for London hot on the heels of another record-breaking month for Santander Cycles, which saw an incredible 1.3m journeys in July. It will be great to see these new e-bikes on London’s streets soon. 

    I’m determined to continue building a cleaner, greener London for everyone and this includes making cycling as accessible as possible. The new Santander Cycles e-bikes will play an important role in helping to break down some of the barriers that stop people from getting on a bike, including fitness, age and length of journey.” 

    David Eddington, TfL’s Head of Cycle Hire, said: “Santander Cycles is a vital part of London’s transport system and is more popular than ever, with the scheme seeing 11 record-breaking months in a row. We want to make sure that the scheme continues to be one of the easiest and most sustainable ways of travelling in the capital. The new bikes, alongside our simpler new tariff, will ensure that the scheme can build on this success and be financially sustainable, playing a full role in a green and healthy future for London.”     

    Dan Sherwood, Marketing Director, Santander UK: “Broadening out the appeal of Santander Cycles through the addition of the new e-bikes is great news for Londoners, meaning more people can take advantage of a sustainable and healthy way to travel. With popularity of the scheme at an all-time high, we hope the introduction of e-bikes, along with a simplified tariff structure, will ensure Santander Cycles continue to go from strength to strength.”  

    Cllr Catherine Rose, Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Parks, Streets and Clean Air, said: “We are delighted to be working with TfL to expand the Santander Cycle scheme further south in our borough and excited to welcome the first of these additional cycle hire docking stations at the junction next to Burgess Park.   
    “The more people who switch from their cars to a bike, especially for short local trips, the better our air quality will be. People who cycle or walk more can also see improvements in physical and mental health. If you’ve not yet tried one, now is the time! We want to see more Santander bikes in more places in Southwark.
    ” 

    The scheme was temporarily closed between 2200 on Friday 9 September and 0600 on Monday 12 September to allow its systems to be upgraded in preparation for the changes. During this time bikes that were on hire could be returned, but no hires could be made. 

    Last year it was announced that Santander will continue to sponsor London’s flagship cycle hire scheme until May 2025. This will support TfL as it moves forward with planned investment in cycle hire, ensuring the scheme continues to grow and encourage more Londoners to get cycling.

  4. SUMP Topic Guide for smaller cities and towns: Hungarian translation now available

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    Source: Eltis, H. Figg

    Sustainable urban mobility planning (SUMP) provides an approach to dealing with the complex urban transport problems across Europe. The new guide offers insight to planners in cities with a population of less than 100,000 and is now newly published in Hungarian to increase accessibility further.

    Translated and published by Magyar CIVINET, the guide will support cities in developing more and better SUMPs. Eltis shares, “Smaller cities and towns often have fewer resources and expertise for strategic mobility planning, making it more difficult to develop SUMPs. They also tend to have a stronger car dependency and weaker public transport, which can make it feel even more daunting to pursue a sustainable vision. On the other hand, smaller cities and towns often have well-connected social communities and more walkable and bikeable distances, offering ideal opportunities for sustainable mobility.”

    The original release can be accessed, here.

    The Hungarian translation can be accessed, here.

    Other SUMP topic guides can be found, here.

  5. Transport for London will add an e-bike fleet to the city’s shared cycle scheme

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    Source: POLIS

    The TfL bike hire scheme’s pricing will now mirror that of London bus fares, with the addition of e-bike options.

    The transport scheme in London allows individuals to ride buses and trams in the city for 60 minutes, at a price of £1.65. From 12 September 2022, a fleet of 500 e-bikes will also become available for hire in 30-minute increments. Additionally, seven new docking stations will be opened in the Southwark neighborhood.

    Reaching more than 1.3 million bike rentals, July 2022 was the busiest month on record for the TfL Santander Cycles bike rental program. Since September 2021, each of the 11 months has surpassed the prior month’s record high, demonstrating a steady increase in usage. The extension is therefore predicted to be extremely well-received.

    The new pricing scheme is as follows:

    • A new flat rate of £1.65 per 30-minute ride, with the existing daily access fee to be eliminated.
    • A new and flexible monthly membership option for £20 per month, which will allow customers to take unlimited 60-minute rides per month.
    • An annual membership including unlimited 60-minute rides, which is double the current time limit, to be provided with an increased fee of £120, reflecting increased operating costs and inflation since the last change in 2013.
    • Kick-off booking is available to registered users for £3.30 per 30-minute ride or £1 per 60-minute ride for monthly and annual members.
  6. Next week: The first European micromobility meeting for PLEV users by non-profit organizations and user groups

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    This exciting event will take place on the last weekend of August, from Friday 26 August 2022 at 16:00 to Sunday 28 August 2022 at 16:00, in Brussels (Belgium), at the Tour and Taxis site, Avenue du Port 86 C, 1000 Brussels.

    The new meeting offers a place for discussions on micromobility, its assets, challenges, and developments for the future. The event is free to attend and open to all those interested.

    This event is the initiative of legal non-profit associations and user groups active on social networks and working for better European (micro-) mobility.

    Full details can be found via the event announcement on LinkedIn.

  7. Biking in Style: VanMoof takes over the streets of Paris during Fashion Week

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    All eyes were on Dutch e-bike brand and LEVA-EU member VanMoof, who brought a new, eye-catching mobility trend to this year’s Men’s Paris Fashion Week

    During Men’s Paris Fashion Week, VanMoof rallied an international crew to showcase the ease of city living on an e-bike during one of the busiest and most visible times of the year for the industry. The transformative potential of the e-bike took center stage during VanMoof’s appearance at Paris Fashion Week. Proposing that riding electric offers city dwellers the chance to reclaim their space, the city e-bike pioneers encouraged people to use their bikes as a tool to unlock the endless potential of a modern-day city.

    All eyes on VanMoof

    Paris Fashion Week has traditionally been a place where editors, stylists, tastemakers, and creatives from around the world come together for seven days to determine the direction of the fashion world. Those who flock to the yearly event have traditionally used cars to drive around the congested city in stuffy 30-degree heat, stuck in endless traffic jams and frustrated at the thought of being late to the next show.

    But this year showed that trend to be a thing of the past. This June for the first time, VanMoof supplied over 50 e-bikes to give visitors from all over the world the opportunity to travel around the streets of Paris without breaking a sweat.

    VanMoof’s current Parisian riders include designer Stephane Ashpool, Simon Jacquemus, and Sarah Andleman, each of whom are regularly sighted riding VanMoof e-bikes in the city. This season they were joined by international musicians, editors, and creatives including the likes of Skinny Macho, Aminé, Diplo, David Fischer from HighSnobiety, Dazed street-style photographers and many more.

    A bike-positive future for Paris

    The e-bike brand’s noticeable presence across shows, events, and parties in Paris comes at a crucial time, as attitudes towards biking in the city are undergoing a change. The city municipality is actively encouraging biking, having introduced multiple incentives to make choosing an e-bike more accessible – an act that makes it clear that city legislators worldwide are recognizing the fundamental need to accelerate efforts to both facilitate and encourage biking in urban areas. As part of the city’s Bike Plan, 180,000 additional bike parking spots will be added to the current total of 60,000 – more than tripling the city’s bike racks. And between now and 2026, Parisian riders will gain 180 km of long-awaited and permanent bike lanes.

    Read the full press release and see the custom VanMoof e-bikes here.

  8. 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.

  9. Amsterdam unveils new universal bike rack

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    Source: themayor.eu, Aseniya Dimitrova

    The new design commissioned by the city aims to facilitate many types of bikes, improving on current flawed designs

    A newly designed bike rack has appeared in Amsterdam, on Haarlemmerplein. The model was designed by the city itself in response to more conventional bike racks failing to cater to the varying bike sizes and varieties utilized across Amsterdam. Allegedly, the “ultimate bike rack” can do it all.

    The new installation is a product of extensive research conducted with residents, in which they expressed which existing facilities were suitable for parking and storing their vehicles, and which were not. Tests were run throughout the West borough, where varying racks were placed and feedback provided; this informed the new ‘ultimate’ design.

    “According to the city website, the new model features more space between the bicycles which is good for models with a crate or wide handlebars. Furthermore, the rack also takes into account the increasing number of heavy e-bikes driving in the city. In addition, the rack is low enough, so one does not need to lift their bike to secure it.

    The rack also fits children’s bicycles and bicycles with thicker tires up to 7 centimeters. It stores more bicycles in a smaller space and it also looks neater. In addition, the ground under the rack is easier to wipe clean, authorities claim. And finally, the rack is produced in a sustainable and circular way.” – A. Dimitrova

    The new design will complement existing models rather than replace them. Following further feedback, the rack will be rolled out on a larger scale in busy areas, during refurbishment projects, in locations undergoing major maintenance, and in places where outdated racks must be replaced.

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