Shared Micromobility: Policy, Practices, and Emerging Futures

Authors: Susan Shaheen, Adam Cohen, and Jacquelyn Broader

Date: December 2022


Shared micromobility services provide travelers with short-term access to shared devices, such as bikes and scooters. Common shared micromobility services include bikesharing and scooter sharing, services that allow these devices to be used for on-demand one-way or roundtrip travel. Advances in internet technology (IT)-based systems led to the growth of shared micromobility since its advent with bikesharing in Europe in the 1960s. However, shared micromobility ridership began to decrease during 2019, in part due to challenges like improper device parking. Generally, shared micromobility adopters are well educated, younger, childless, in middle- and upper-income households, and located in urban areas with limited personal vehicle access. Early studies have found that shared micromobility adoption may result in environmental benefits (e.g., decreases in greenhouse gas emissions, greater environmental awareness); modal shifts and substitutions; increases in physical activity; and some safety concerns. Policy levers can help guide shared micromobility operations to make the devices more widely accessible without impeding public space. Shared micromobility policies typically include: device caps, service area limitations, designated parking areas, fees, equipment and operational requirements, and enforcement measures. These policies may impact future shared micromobility deployment and adoption. Other factors that may affect shared micromobility’s future include: electric device innovations, automation advancements, safety improvements, data privacy protections, and public policies.

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Posted on

March 1, 2023