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Playbook guides cities on implementing micro-mobility solutions

The Shared Micromobility Playbook is divided into key policy areas such as equipment and safety, operations, data and metrics

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e-scooters and other micro-mobility programmes have exploded in US cities
e-scooters and other micro-mobility programmes have exploded in US cities

Transportation for America (T4America), the alliance of elected, business and civic leaders that aim to ensure that states and the federal government invest in smart locally-driven transportation solutions, has produced a playbook on micro-mobility services such as dockless bikes and e-scooters.

 

The Shared Micromobility Playbook has been produced in collaboration with 23 cities and is intended to help cities better understand the variety of policy levers at their disposal. It also explores the core components of a comprehensive shared micro-mobility policy for local governments as they consider how best to manage these services.

 

Rise of micro-mobility options

 

T4America pointed out that the past few years has seen an explosion in shared micro-mobility services in cities across the country, transforming the mobility landscape and challenging the ability of cities to manage them.

 

No cities were even considering the prospect of shared electric scooters two years ago, and now in 2019, hundreds of them are. This incredibly rapid pace of change is unlikely to slow anytime soon, and T4America said it highlights the need to create flexible regulatory frameworks that will help cities integrate new technologies and contribute toward their preferred long-term outcomes.

 

“The rapid emergence of these new micro-mobility services has created new clean and convenient options for people to get around, and they certainly offer a wealth of potential benefits. But there’s still so much to learn,” said Russ Brooks, T4America’s director of smart cities.

“With e-scooters now operating for a year in Santa Monica, we were happy to share our experience"

“They can help advance city goals related to equity, access to jobs and services, climate, and more. But in order to achieve these goals, cities have a major role to play in thoughtfully managing them to ensure that the benefits accrue equitably to everyone."

 

This playbook is intended to be an extension of T4America’s Smart Cities Collaborative and serve as the starting point for an ongoing conversation where cities can share their experiences and identify best practices as the results of pilot programmes.

 

Key policy areas

 

Each section identifies key policy areas to reflect on, including operations, metrics, data and equipment and safety. It highlights the various options in each policy area, reviews the pros and cons of each level of action, and provides case studies of cities that have enacted certain policies. Sections also include suggested national standards across cities, areas for cities to make local choices, and key considerations when deliberating policy options along with recommendations.

 

Francie Stefan, acting chief mobility officer and assistant director of planning and community development for Santa Monica, said the city had to learn “in real-time” what works and what doesn’t as scooters appeared in the city “virtually overnight”.

“They can help advance city goals related to equity, access to jobs and services, climate, and more"

“But we didn’t have to find our way alone. By being part of the T4America Smart Cities Collaborative, we were able to quickly tap into the experiences of over 20 other cities, including ones who had just gone through the first wave of dockless bike-share regulation.

 

“With e-scooters now operating for a year in Santa Monica, we were happy to share our experiences as T4America produced the playbook which crystallises in a systematic way what the key policy questions are, what we can control, and the pros and cons of various approaches to regulating these new services.”

 

The playbook was started during a September convening in Pittsburgh, with the 23 cities participating in T4America’s year-long Smart Cities Collaborative. It was written as a result of that collaboration, additional conversations with cities across the country working on regulations, industry stakeholders including Lime, and research conducted by T4America.

 

T4America plans to refine and expand the playbook. It can be viewed at playbook.t4america.org.

 

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