Analysis
9 May 19

10 tips for micromobility in your fleet

In 2018 twice as much shared e-scooter and bike trips were made in the US compared to 2017. That was the conlusion of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) in its annual report. 10 tips on how you can implement their findings in your fleet management.

1. Go for micromobility

Were you hesitating to implement micromobility in your fleet, worried that the hype would pass soon? No worries, the study found that shared bikes and e-scooters are here to stay. Moreover, in 2018 a total of 84 million trips were made by shared scooters (38.5 million), station-based shared bikes (36.5. million), and dockless shared bikes (9 million). To give you an increase of the rise: since 2010, people have taken 207 million trips on shared bikes and e-scooters in the US alone. 

2. Go for scooters

Dockless pedal bikes are disappearing from the scene and are being replaced by e-scooters. The 44,000 dockless pedal bikes at the end of 2017 were largely removed during 2018. Both big bike share companies such as Lime and Spin converted their fleet into e-scooters, and in addition new e-scooter only companies emerged, such as Bird. In the US only 26 formal e-scooter pilots were launched between July and September – summer season – only. In addition, ridehailing companies such as Uber and Lyft are investing in bikesharing as well. So, the scooter offer is expanding, and so is the chance to find the scooter offer suited for your fleet. 

3. Go for e-bikes over pedal bikes

While bikesharing companies are replacing their docked bikes by scooters, the bikes that are staying are mostly e-bikes. E-bikes have the highest utilisation rate in terms of rides per vehicle per day. In fact they are used twice as frequently as pedal bikes, making bikesharing companies invest more heavily in e-bikes than in pedal bikes.

4. Go for docked bikes over dockless bikes

Dockless bikes are losing ground and may disappear entirely in many cities. The study suggests they might disappear all together from the streets by the end of 2019. This could be explained by both the conversion of the companies into scooter companies, and the troubles with vandalism, parking management and the backlash many dockless bikes received. 

5. Go for a large bike sharing system or a small scooter sharing system

The study concluded that the denser the shared bike network, the more rides were taken per vehicle per day, while the contrary happened with scooters, where the scooters of smaller companies had a higher utilisation rate of larger scooter providers. 

Yet, the denser the network of stations, the higher the availability and more convenient to get from one station to another. In Boston for instance, approximately 85% of the residents can walk to a public bike share station in 5 to 7 minutes only.

6. Go for a yearly or monthly package

The more you ride, the lower the fare. On average, annual members in station-based bikeshare programmes paid $1.25 per ride, compared to $2.75 per ride for pay-as-you-go models, and $3.50 per scooter ride. 

7. Bikes for business, scooters for pleasure

Station-based bikesharing is most heavily utilised during traditional rush hours, covering the commute, both to go and get back from work and to connect to transit stations. Scooters on the other hand are more used throughout the day with a peak in ridership on Fridays and at the weekends, serving more for leisure rides. So you rather opt for a shared bike system than a scooter share system if you target merely daily commutes. 

8. Go for MaaS

Many shared scooter and bike systems start operating with overall mobility providers and/or the public transit operator of the city they operate in. In addition, various MaaS platforms are incorporate bike and/or scooter providers. This can both result in cheaper fares and more convenient payment methods. For instance, riders of Ford GoBike in Oakland can use their transit card for bike sharing payments. And in Pittsburgh, HealthyRide members receive a free 15 minutes transfer between bike share and the bus. 

9. Go for a large system

The more rides, the more bikes and vice versa. In station-based bike share systems, a number of system expansions resulted in increased ridership. Moreover, the six cities with the highest ridership account for 84% of all station-based bike share trips in the US. 40% of all e-scooter trips took place in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Austin solely. 

10. Go for the future

Since the initiatives are new, they aren’t incorporated in most of the legislation yet. Both cities and companies are currently finding a way to implement the new mobility modes in a safe, reliable and sustainable way onto their streets. To have an idea, at the beginning of 2019, there were already 44 e-scooter bills introduced in 26 states. 

Yet, these micromobility modes will find their way in legislation, since they provide cities a perfect answer to both challenges of traffic congestion, and air pollution, which often results in traffic restrictions – from low emission zones to diesel bans – from which shared bikes and scooters are exempt.

Authored by: Fien Van den steen
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