The idea of whistling at a yellow cab in New York City is a romantic notion of public transportation, as are double decker buses in the UK. The typical commute aboard public transportation tends to be mundane and, rather than having a convenient stop in front of your destination, you find yourself a short distance away that needs to be traversed, typically by foot. It’s accepted as a norm, but micromobility is changing how people use public transportation.
Whether as a replacement or complementary to public options, micromobility has a role in the future of transport. Here’s what micromobility is all about and how it affects public transportation.
What Is Micromobility?
At the core, micromobility vehicles as defined by the US Federal Highway Administration are “any small, low-speed, human- or electric-powered transportation device, including bicycles, scooters, electric-assist bicycles, electric scooters (e-scooters), and other small, lightweight, wheeled conveyances”. That’s a broad definition that allows for a wide range of options. Generally, they’re less than a meter wide, weigh under 230 kilograms, and travel under 48 kilometers per hour.
Privately owned vehicles are a component of micromobility, but the growing sector is largely in subscriptions and app-based sharing services. Obvious benefits are a reduction in traffic volumes and a more enjoyable transportation option than public transportation, especially in areas of consistently nice weather.
Increasing Last-Mile Options
As a complement to public transportation methods like subways, trains, and buses, micromobility solutions have streamlined the last-mile issues – that is, the distance riders need to travel from their terminal or stop to their destination. What would take 10 to 20 minutes by foot can be reduced to a few minutes on an e-scooter or shared bike.
When the last mile is less cumbersome, riders can be convinced to leave their car at home and travel by train or bus.
More Adoption For Longer Distances
Over the past two decades, cycling has grown in popularity and protected bike lanes and trails have grown six-fold in that time. Between a conscientious effort to reduce emissions, improve health, and the skyrocketing costs of parking, micromobility adopters are trading in their bus passes for a subscription to services nearby. Alongside bus lanes, protected bike lanes are increasingly popular. Case in point, New York City has more than 124 miles of protected bike lanes for just this purpose.
Simplified Platforms To Use Micromobility Vehicles
Shared automotive and mobility services, including micromobility, are progressively integrated with smartphones. With the use of intuitive apps and real-time data collection in the background, using shared micromobility is incredibly simple from tracking mileage and location to billing. What makes micromobility so attractive is the option to quickly retrieve and return the vehicle, otherwise there’s no time saved and the experience turns sour instead of positive.
Like digital services for automotive, the key to adoption is to eliminate frustrating hurdles. If a rider needs to fumble through their device or search their wallet for a card, it’s unlikely they’ll continue to work a bikeshare or e-scooter rental into their day consistently.
A Symbiotic Relationship With Public Transportation Options
Taxis, buses, trains, and subways are woven into the fabric of many major cities, and these options aren’t disappearing anytime soon. However, micromobility vehicles are gaining traction to occasionally replace or complement other ridership options. Star Automotive and other mobility solutions developers are playing a massive role in adoption by strategizing and creating solutions that work toward the common goal of making transportation more convenient, cleaner, faster, and more enjoyable.