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Friday, August 19, 2022

Can E-Mopedsharing Help Wean Americans Off Car Ownership? – Streetsblog USA

Sharing electric mopeds has become one of the fastest-growing alternatives for driving in cities around the world during 2021, says a new report – but its future in America may be more modest unless local policies achieve medium-speed mode.

According to a New research Hosted by Enrico Howe of mopedsharing.com and mobility solutions company INVERS, rental car providers reported an estimated 33 percent increase in passenger registration between September 2020 and September 2021, bringing for the first time a global number of passengers of over 12 million. Cities that made an active effort to limit car dominance, such as Paris and Berlin, experienced the greatest growth.

U.S. communities, on the other hand, were slower to get drivers out of cars and board rental mopeds. Not to be confused with popular stand-up electric kick scooters that proliferated nationwide in 2017, mopeds sit (see The Streetsblog Field Guide is here) Struggled in American-controlled American cities, despite the fact that sit-in mopeds companies started the micro-mobile revolution back in 2012 with the launch of Scoot Networks. Today, only five markets currently have access to the situation – New York, Miami, Washington, San Francisco and a modest fleet in Pittsburgh – and only three operators (Ravel, Scott-owned Bird and Lime) are now competing to put under seats.

Still, researchers think more gates in the U.S. could join the ranks of global moped-sharing capitals soon – if U.S. leaders act to make their streets more welcoming to the evolving situation.

“Against all odds, 8 percent of the global moped fleet is shared in America,” said researcher Howe, lead author of the report. he Occurs.”

In some ways, the fact that moped sharing even remained a stable A characteristic of the U.S. transportation landscape is noteworthy, even if it has not yet taken off as it did abroad. With maximum speeds limited to around 28 to 30 miles per hour, shared moped riders are unsure of driving on auto-controlled highways, which penetrate many American cities, but are far too fast for bike paths and sparse sidewalks. Given to even more vulnerable road users. (Frank Reig, CEO of the Revel moped company, blamed Austin’s ‘rooted car culture’ for autocentric infrastructure and extensive land use when the company retired from the Texas capital last year.)

Lack of common mass modes also made the mopeds an embarrassing fit for the country’s transportation networks. Researchers argue that the vehicle is naturally suitable for first- and last-mile travel, especially for passengers trying to quickly bring two people to a bus or train. (The report estimates that about half of all rentals on mopeds carry two passengers, at least when the operator provides two helmets in the trunk of the vehicle).

“Shared mopeds and transportation really go hand in hand,” said Alex Gamlin, CPO at INVERS. “[Transit] Becomes more attractive the more mopeds there are. “It’s the right vehicle for a lot of mobility needs.”

Share moped by year

Mopeds also did not take off in the US because of the unclear space they occupy in the dialogue on how to maintain the safety of even more vulnerable road users.

Historically, supporters of sustainable transportation have expressed concern that accelerating the micro-mobility revolution – regardless of increasing its weight to around £ 200 – could pose problems for other passengers without cars, even though they recognize that drivers pose a much greater threat to road safety in general. . Four widely reported deaths involving Revel scooters in New York City’s flagship city have helped spark controversy, perhaps no more than Crash 2020 Where one of his riders killed an 82-year-old pedestrian. (The other three deaths occurred following accidents of a single vehicle; Another Ravel rider was killed By an alleged SUV truck driver in September.)

The company later introduced a range of new safety measures, including driver assistance features, which defense proponents have long argued should be standardized all Motor vehicle, such as systems that automatically detect when a rider is traveling the wrong way on a one-way street or entering a pedestrian area heavily like a park; Repeat offenders are banned from the platform.

And as the act wears off, researchers remind supporters of the potential of sharing mopeds to get people out of cars – if one can re-imagine the streets of the U.S. to make traveling in a 200-pound cage-free motor vehicle as comfortable and safe as a 2,000-pound heavy-duty armored truck.

As U.S. cities shift their infrastructure, policies and culture from the dominance of private cars, the researchers behind the new report argue that shared mopeds can naturally become a larger part of the transportation landscape, especially for trips that are too long to walk – they note the typical trip is about five miles – and should be completed faster than even an electric bike can withstand.They also recognize that it will not attract any rider – three out of four moped sharing users around the world are men, roughly We are by With scooter riders a joint kick – but that’s not necessarily a problem.

“A moped is not a perfect choice for, for example, a parent who wants to carry a small child,” Howe said. “[But] That is not the goal. The goal is to move away from individual vehicle ownership that is attractive to people because it is safe, cheap, reliable, fast and meets their needs. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “

However, what may be most exciting about sharing mopeds is how it introduces its riders to the wider universe of shared mobility options, especially when the situation integrates deeper into mobile apps as a service – a trend the researchers noted. Was especially common last year.

“Ultimately, this is a good alternative to a privately owned vehicle,” Gamlin added. “This situation is bringing more people to this whole ecosystem of shared mobility, and that’s a very good thing.”

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