Micromobility was a hot topic at the APBP conference in Portland this past August. They defined it as: bikeshare (docked or dockless) and e-scooters. Here is a summary of what we heard during panel presentations and on a tour. Speakers noted that e-scooters are still very new, joking about their lengthy experience being 1.5 years.
For the short version, simply read the Top 10 insights and Top needs below. Or keep reading for lessons learned from a variety of cities along with comments from vendors of bikeshares and e-scooters. And if you're visual, there's a video link at the end.
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*Top 10 insights on bikeshares and e-scooters* APBP Conference (Portland, OR) Aug 25-28, 2019
1. Bike lanes / paths / quiet streets preferred infra for e-scooter users 2. E-bikes the best bet for bikesharing 3. E-scooters considered the most financially viable opportunity for vendors 4. Incorrect parking and illegal sidewalk riding main complaints about e-scooters (along with speed) 5. Data sharing by vendors essential 6. Surcharges (or discounts) important to incentivize behaviour of both vendors and users 7. Low income programs and lowered barriers to access important (eg. PayNearMe, text-to-unload, distribution outside downtown)* 8. E-scooter collisions more frequent with first time users - intro training program helps 9. Staff time is significant to set up, permit vendors, and administer program 10. Ask for more from vendors (public ROW is valuable)
** Recommended to require this data breakout from vendors*
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*Top needs for e-scooter introduction:*
1. Staff time 2. Regulation 3. Procurement framework (permitting vendors) 4. Fees to incentivize vendor and user behaviour 5. Set up data reporting standards 6. Continue to build out bikeway network (encourages ridership & safety) 7. Know that parking will be an issue 8. Work closely with other departments and regional partners, e.g. parks dept, universities
Note: APBP is working on a micromobility policy statement that will include key factors for success and recommendations.
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- They market it as "WheelShare https://my.spokanecity.org/projects/wheelshare/" (covering e-bikes and e-scooters) - Use one vendor only (Lime) - more of a partnership - Post-pilot settled on 100 e-bikes and 1200 e-scooters - Get 3.7 rides/day e-scooters and 1.5/day e-bikes (2019 to date) - #1 complaint - riding on downtown sidewalks (illegal but residents don't believe or know that). About 50% of users ride on dntn sidewalk (34% e-scooters and 16% e-bikes). - Also an issue with scooter parking blocking peds - Scoot Spokane First Ride program for new scooter users - Data from Lime helps them identify where there is demand/need for infrastructure
- Branded as Nice Ride https://www.niceridemn.com/ - 3100 bikes (combination docked and dockless, and now e-bikes) - Now looking to replace all of their pedal bikes with e-bikes - Scooters are not allowed on sidewalks anywhere - Helmet recommended but not required - Bike network pretty good and also used for scooters - Piloting scooter parking (painted stencil) within buffer zones of dntn bike lane grid - Scooters proving popular; only had 1 serious user injury to date (not life altering) - Vendor permits require distribution with 40% dntn and 30% in areas of concentrated poverty (i.e. less than $46K/yr) - Offer a reduced fare program - 35% of scooter users are new (i.e. they are not cyclists) - Avg trip length is 1.3 miles
- Launched dockless bikeshare pilot in July 2017: - permitted private vendors - regulated operations - collected fees and data - wanted no cost to the city - Jump & Lime now operating in Seattle (Lyft permitted but haven't launched) - Looking to launch e-scooters in 2020 - Will permit up to 20,000 bikes but only 5-7K deployed at present - Want more e-bikes but they're more expensive and harder for vendors to provide - Offer low income programs and lowered barriers to access - Jump uses Uber gift card with text-to-unload; Lime uses PayNearMe https://home.paynearme.com/ (7-11s) with text-to-unload - Data collection lesson learned - now wish they'd also required vendors to provide breakout of low income % usage - Partner with Outdoors for All Foundation https://outdoorsforall.org/about-us/who-we-are/ (adaptive bikes, like Freedom Concepts https://www.freedomconcepts.com/ does in MB) to allow more people to experience bikesharing - Bike parking - added ~150 new bike corrals in 2019 near transit and areas without bike parking (can be used for both bikeshare and personal bikes) - Logged almost 900,000 rides this year - Ongoing fleet audits & infractions: - Bikeshare parking - - 2% ADA violations - 10-20% obstruction hazards - 25-30% improperly parked - Bikeshare maintenance - - 1.5% safety maintenance issues - 4.8% not in good working order
- Now in their second pilot https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/77294 for e-scooter sharing - Not branded; 6 vendors operating in Portland - Lime, Bird, Spin, Razor (seated scooters), Shared, Bolt - Require data sharing and ensure the privacy of sensitive location data - Report from first pilot https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/709719 found: - 71% used e-scooters for transportation - 34% replaced driving and ride-hailing with scooter trips - 44% of users new to the bike lane - Positive response from 62% of Portlanders - Users prefer low-speed streets and bike lanes - Scooter program also popular with people of colour and low income - After first pilot, found that people wanted more access to scooters in more parts of the city as well as seated scooters - Complaints mostly around incorrect scooter parking and illegal sidewalk riding - Portland Tribune article (August 27, 2019) reported results for first 6 months of 2nd e-scooter pilot: - 253,690 trips logged during the first 10 weeks of program - 307,456 total miles logged by users - 46 emergency room trips linked to e-scooter crashes (source: Multnomah County Health Dept) - 16 reports of e-scooter collisions - 903 complaints sent to e-scooter vendors by the public regarding bad behaviour - 371 emails sent by the public to PBOT - 340 total fines and warnings issued by PBOT staff for illegal parking or riding on sidewalks - Vendor permits require deployment in areas outside dntn - Think scooters likely worth it even if it's eating a bit into bikeshare usage - If Portland decides to continue with e-scooters after the 2nd pilot, they may consider partnering with 1 vendor; if the results are still not clear they might continue with multiple vendors - *Additional learnings from Micromobility mobile conference tour:* - E-scooter users prefer using bike network to other streets - Avg trip length = ~0.6 mile - Scooters not allowed on park greenways along river (most popular/desirable route); lesson learned - talk to your parks dept in planning stages - Low income pass with debit/cash options available for both bikeshare and e-scooters but little uptake for e-scooters (difficult to access) - PBOT doesn't require speed cap on e-scooters (some cities cap anywhere from 5-15 mph) - Vendors are asked to incentive users to return scooters to a designated zone - PBOT provides surcharge discount to place scooters in neighbourhoods with less demand (e.g. 20 cent surcharge in Dntn Portland but 5 cents in East Portland) - Biketown https://www.biketownpdx.com/ - have 5 motorized (e-assist) trikes to rebalance distribution of bikeshare; also have 2 big transit vans - trikes used to get the bikes to one station for van to pick up a bunch at once - Emissions tracking - this year PBOT is requiring reporting of VMT for redistribution (vans); also analyzing the life cycle of e-scooters to ensure there is an environmental ROI - E-bikes are a game changer (e.g. distance boundaries) but more challenging to rebalance as they're even heavier - Injuries - most scooter users who get injured do so on their first ride (but usually continue to ride) - State law requires helmets on scooters but not for bikes - Surcharges / fees charged to vendors and users goes to support program administration (but not enough to fund infra) - *Comments from other tour participants:* - Don't use Skip (battery explosions) - E-scooters hard on knees & back due to user's joints absorbing the shock; Lime coming out with front shocks https://techau.com.au/lime-scooter-v3-adds-2-8-colour-display-bigger-wheels-and-better-suspension/ - Kelowna got around provincial legislation by passing a municipal by-law allowing e-scooters on specific multi-use pathways https://infotel.ca/newsitem/kelownas-experiment-with-e-scooters-a-major-summertime-hit/it65592
- Offer both dockless bikeshare and e-scooters - 12-month pilot ends Oct 14, 2019 - 2 permittees - Skip and Scoot - Key metrics for pilot project: - Use (# trips & availability) - Safety and accessibility (collisions, lock-to, user education) - Equity and engagement (demographics, programming) - Number complaints / citations - Pilot found 42% of all trips replace auto trips - Lessons learned from pilot - - Ask for more from vendors (public ROW is valuable) - Even though vendors are responsible, the city is accountable (takes flack because it's public ROW) - 2/3 of scooters were stolen in the first few weeks of availability - Don't underestimate staff time needed (e.g. even once you've developed the permit requirements, scoring applications incredibly time intensive)
*General notes from vendor presentations (Lime, Spin, Jump)*
- Geofencing used to help enforce city regulations on use (e.g. scooters are not allowed on park greenways in Portland) - Micromobility helpful not only for first/last mile but also in areas not well served by transit - Vendors are interested in cities where there is good bike infra as it's critical for success (influences decision to come and to stay) - Also important is the city's attitude, i.e. openness to collaborate and interest in helping ensure viability - Lime rep noted that a low performing scooter market still does better than a high performing e-bike market (scooters are the real route for vendor viability) - 1/3 of Lime riders report an income $50K or less; Lime Access provides 50% discount to qualified individuals along with cash & non-smartphone options; also provide multilingual safety and rider education materials and hire from under-resourced communities. - Spin bought out by Ford last year - Jump Bicycles started out as Social Bicycles (Sobi) but then bought by Uber; now have both bikes and scooters - Jump's data shows only a 13% overlap between bike and scooter users, reinforcing experience elsewhere - Future - looking at kiosks where users can swap out batteries themselves
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*APBP Portland: **Going Macro with Micromobility (panel video) * www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc13hqk7OeA
This panel will explore the evolving landscape of micromobility and its integration into cities. Panelists from large and mid-size cities will discuss their experiences and approaches in working with private micromobility providers and adapting programs and facilities to new users and rules of the road. Micromobility providers will shed light on the factors involved in success and profitability, and their experiences as private companies operating in the public realm. Moderated discussions and audience questions will go deeper into the dynamics between public and private entities in the transportation realm, and challenge us to envision the streetscape of the future (including winners and losers in the race for mode share).
0:00 - Melissa May White, AICP, SSFM International, Inc. 1:54 - Rae-Leigh Stark, Toole Design 13:20 - Brandon Blankenagel, City of Spokane 20:34 - Alexander Kado, City of Minneapolis 29:25 - Joel Miller, Seattle Department of Transportation 39:18 - Briana Orr, Portland Bureau of Transportation 51:13 - Jamie Parks, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency 1:01:22 - City Panel Q&A 1:11:53 - Gabriel Scheer, Lime 1:22:45 - Kay Cheng, Spin 1:33:54 - Anne Brask, Jump 1:41:46 - Provider Panel Q&A 1:52:55 - William Henderson, RideReport 2:04:04 - Combined Panel Q&A
Recorded at the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals conference in Portland, OR, August 28, 2019.