Micromobility

RELATED TOPICS: E-bikes, Bike Share, Equity, Connected Multimodal Networks

E-scooters, e-bikes, and station-based and dockless bike share transportation systems (collectively known as "micromobility") are promising as a complement to existing modes of travel with potential health, environmental, and congestion relief benefits. As with all new innovations, there is much to learn about safe implementation, compliance, equity considerations, and infrastructure planning and design to support these emerging forms of transportation and technology.

Micromobility provides affordable, low emissions alternatives to driving. Since 2017, a proliferation of start-ups have distributed electric kick-scooters for use in shared mobility systems across the U.S., generating millions of trips per year. Many communities see possibilities in micromobility to help expand transit ridership shed by supporting first/last mile trips to transit connections. Shared micromobility devices such as e-scooters and e-bikes provide new opportunities for flexible personal travel, but they also pose challenges for safety, mobility justice, regulation, and planning. Best practices and new policies are continually evolving and may be specific to location or context.

In 2020, COVID-19 had major effects on shared micromobility in the U.S., with many cities temporarily suspending their programs during the early stages of the pandemic and operators laying off workers. However, micromobility proved to be a key mode for essential trips (often as an alternative to public transit) and socially-distanced leisure activities in 2020. The pandemic introduced many first time riders to e-scooters and bike share, and led to permanent bike/ped infrastructure additions in cities that conducted successful "slow streets" pilots. While the future of shared micromobility remains unknowable, the pandemic highlighted some of the benefits, and exposed some of the inequities, of these modes.

Resources

Understanding and Tackling Micromobility: Transportation's New Disruptor offers State Highway Safety Offices an overview of six challenges associated with micromobility: oversight, funding, data collection, enforcement, infrastructure, and education.

Micromobility Factsheet provides an overview of micromobility types, emerging research topic areas, and program examples.

Guidelines for Regulating Shared Micromobility, Version 2 presents suggested best practices and considerations for cities seeking to regulate shared micromobility.

Access Denied (Article from APA Planning Magazine) describes considerations for dockless urban mobility related to the needs of people with disabilities, such as those with impaired hearing, sight, and/or people with assistive mobility devices.

The Basics of Micromobility and Related Motorized Devices for Personal Transport provides typology and framework that classifies and defines vehicles and emerging "micromobility" devices for integrating into transportation systems.

E-Scooter Management in Midsized Cities in the United States documents practices, challenges, and opportunities related to micromobility, specifically e-scooters, in nine midsized US cities.

SAE Taxonomy and Classification of Powered Micromobility Vehicles provides a commonality of terms, definitions, and classifications of powered micromobility vehicles consistent with current industry practice.

How and Where Should I Ride This Thing? "Rules of the Road" for Personal Transportation Devices (PTDs) identifies existing PTD regulations across 176 jurisdictions and presents recommendations for rules of the road to balance safety for all road users.

Shared Micromobility in the U.S.: 2019 reports data about all shared micromobility in the U.S. including average trip duration, distances, and prices per ride.

Remix Three-Part Info Brief on Micromobility covers policies, city needs for mobility data, and equitable access.

Shared Micromobility Playbook explores core components of a comprehensive shared micromobility policy for local governments to consider.

Dockless Electric Kick Scooter Systems: What we know and don't know presents overview of current e-scooter landscape on the national level.

American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators: Electric Dockless Scooters Whitepaper looks at regulatory challenges and includes considerations for cities and examples of recent regulatory activities.

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Examples

Micromobility: A Travel Mode Innovation provides an overview of FHWA initiatives to develop expertise in the emerging micromobility field to help State DOTs and cities manage micromobility deployment, monitor trends, and evaluate facilities and design needs.

Open Mobility Foundation is the steward of the Mobility Data Specification, or MDS, an open-source project developed by several cities, agencies, and mobility service providers to provide a common language format for managing non-public-facing micromobility data.

Privacy Guide for Cities provides guidance for privacy considerations to help cities become responsible stewards of MDS data for shared mobility devices.

LADOT Year One Report provides a review of Los Angeles' 2019-2020 Dockless Vehicle Pilot Program.

Micromobility Injury Coding Poster categorizes injuries related to emerging micromobility devices for improved injury surveillance and for patients in a healthcare setting.

USDOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics website and interactive map documents the rapid growth of bikeshare and e-scooter systems across the country from 2015-present.

Smart Cities Dive: Mapping the Impact of Dockless Vehicles maps cities exploring and implementing shared mobility.

Measuring Equitable Access to New Mobility provides overview of dockless system in Washington, District of Columbia.

Injuries Associated with Standing Electric Scooter Use explores types of injuries associated with e-scooters and the characteristics and behaviors of injured patients.

Dockless Electric Scooter-Related Injuries Study serves as the first epidemiological study to conduct interviews with injured e-scooter riders and identifies risk factors associated with injuries.

Injury patterns and circumstances associated with electric scooter collisions: a scoping review offers a literature review of e-scooter injury studies, covering injury types and circumstances.

Micromobility in Cities: A History and Policy Overview includes case studies on shared and electric bikes and scooters from cities across the country, with a history of micromobility and recommendations for local leaders.

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