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Singapore explores e-scooters as a replacement for short-distance transit

Study sets out to shed light on the growing utility of e-scooters as a micromobility service in Singapore, and also how best to harness and regulate this growing mode of mobility.

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E-scooters present unique advantages and challenges for regulators and policymakers
E-scooters present unique advantages and challenges for regulators and policymakers

E-scooters have been found to be an important alternative mode of transit, particularly in urban areas, a new Singaporean study reveals.

 

Researchers from Future Urban Mobility (FM) at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (Smart) found that e-scooters are not only a last-mile solution to complement transit services, but also provide a mobility service for short-distance transit trips.

 

Micromobility service

 

According to Smart, the study sheds light on the growing utility of e-scooters as a micromobility service in Singapore, and will also inform operators, planners, and policymakers on how best to harness and regulate this growing mode of mobility.

 

E-scooter sharing to serve short-distance trips: A Singapore case found that fare, transit transfer, and transit walking distance are significant factors driving the use of e-scooters as an alternative means of transit.

 

“E-scooter sharing services have shown enormous potential to become an important component of transit systems in urban environments in Singapore and other cities worldwide,” said Zhejing Cao, lead author of the study.

 

“Our study has highlighted the shortcomings of public transport in serving short-distance journeys in the Singapore Central Area (SCA). E-scooter sharing services are able to bridge this gap and provide a convenient micromobility service to the public.”

 

The findings of the Smart study are intended to inform operators, planners, and policy makers on how to harness and regulate this mobility service, as well as provide suggestions on deploying shared e-scooters to satisfy demand unmet by transit, especially where transit travel involves greater indirectness, transfer, and access-egress walking distance.

“E-scooter sharing as a new form of micromobility will improve the overall efficiency of urban transportation systems through enhancing last-mile connectivity as well as serving short-distance travels”

E-scooter supply strategies at different locations can be varied according to various socio-demographic factors which influence e-scooter preference and mode choices.

 

“E-scooter sharing as a new form of micromobility will improve the overall efficiency of urban transportation systems through enhancing last-mile connectivity as well as serving short-distance travels. It also has huge potential in the future if powered by autonomous driving technology,” said Xiaohu Zhang, co-author of the study.

 

“Evidently, e-scooters present unique advantages and challenges for regulators and policymakers. If managed and regulated effectively, e-scooter sharing services can play an important role in the public mobility circuit, filling a gap in the short distance transit segment that public transport is, as yet, often unable to fill,” added Jinhua Zhao, Smart FM lead principal investigator and associate professor at MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

 

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology is MIT’s Research Enterprise in Singapore, established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in partnership with the National Research Foundation of Singapore (NRF) since 2007.

 

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