A micromobility future for cities
Early lessons learned in cities are that static and inflexible rules-based regulation often cannot keep pace with such a young and fast-moving sector. Applied too rigidly, measures such as caps on scooter numbers — or in some cases, outright bans — can be counterproductive, restricting the spread of services and denying users access to the benefits available.
Making the transition to a sustainable scenario where micromobility meets the needs of cities, providers and users, depends on establishing a more supportive regulatory framework — one that is agile and flexible enough to keep the ride under control without bringing it to a juddering halt.
Dynamic regulation responds to data based on key performance measures, and is implemented through a series of incentives for good performance and penalties for underachievement. For instance, rather than a fixed cap on fleet size, a city might stipulate a flexible limit based on the number of rides per scooter per day. As demand rises, more scooters can be released, and as it falls they can be removed again. This allows for maximum accessibility with minimum disruption.
Both cities and providers need to start working together, sharing data and collaborating more closely on service provision and partnerships with public transport providers, and building adaptive infrastructure to meet future needs — around parking and safe use in particular.