Press statement on TRAN Vote on the NUMF

March 2023

 

Micro-Mobility for Europe congratulates the Rapporteur and the Shadow-Rapporteurs on their work regarding the INI Report on the New Urban Mobility Framework.

Today’s vote shows that the European Parliament’s TRAN Committee recognises the role that micro-mobility can play to make urban transport more accessible, affordable and sustainable. To further encourage the uptake, investments in safe cycling and walking infrastructure are key, as well as incorporating micro-mobility in urban transport systems.

We are also glad to see that the TRAN Committee recognises the benefits of smart and sustainable mobility solutions, such as shared e-bikes and e-scooters, and their potential to serve as first and last-mile solutions.

Moreover, MMfE endorses the report’s call for proper enforcement to ensure the respectful coexistence of transport modes, and welcomes the effort towards a common understanding of terminology. 

MMfE supports harmonised technical rules on EU level, to avoid fragmentation on national or regional level. Involvement of micro-mobility providers in the process of drawing up such rules will be crucial to ensure planning security, and to maximise societal benefits.

Micro-Mobility for Europe remains committed to actively contribute to ongoing debates in the realm of micro-mobility to enable evidence-based policy-making. MMfE is eager to be consulted in the design of innovation-friendly regulation that allows cities to speed up the decarbonisation of urban mobility and to reallocate urban space.

EP event: New urban mobility framework (NUMF): What’s next for active and micro-mobility?

March 2023

 

On 07 March 2023, the European Parliament’s Urban Intergroup and Micro-Mobility for Europe hosted a debate around the challenges and opportunities of active and micro-mobility, in the context of the NUMF. Following the first edition in January 2023, today’s debate was yet again composed of excellent speakers:

  • MEP Andrey Novakov (EPP, BG), TRAN Rapporteur on the NUMF
  • MEP Andreas Schieder (S&D, AT) Vice-President of the Urban Intergroup and TRAN Shadow-Rapporteur on the NUMF
  • MEP Ciarán Cuffe (Greens/EFA, IE), TRAN Shadow Rapporteur on NUMF
  • MEP Marcos Ros Sempere (S&D, ES), REGI Rapporteur for Opinion on the NUMF
  • Pauline Aymonier, Micro-Mobility for Europe Co-Chair
  • Pedro Homem de Gouveia, Senior Policy & Project Manager at POLIS

Panellists identified new mobility services such as micro-mobility as a complement to public transport, walking and cycling and expressed support for the coexistence of different modes. With the uptake of cycling and micro-mobility, speakers called for more dedicated infrastructure to accommodate citizen’s need for safe mobility, as an enabler for decarbonising urban transport.

With regards to safety and speed, participants expressed the need to limit the speed of micro-mobility devices, while acknowledging that speed reduction should happen across all modes to ensure a level-playing field and enhanced safety on the streets. To avoid individual privately owned devices traveling at very high speeds, a need to harmonise technical standards of personal mobility devices was identified. 

Speaker’s statements

MEP Andrey Novakov (EPP, BG) stated that “we need to create a common standard for micro-mobility which is in the interest of the industry. These standards would make everybody safe and tolerant of the vehicle”. Furthermore, he acknowledged the role micro-mobility can play in particular for first and last-mile trips and called for the coexistence of modes. 

MEP Andreas Schieder (S&D, AT) identified public transport as the backbone of urban mobility and agreed that ”we want to have a strong modal split between the different modes of transport” and emphasised his commitment to decarbonise urban mobility and working towards the implementation of sustainable urban mobility strategies.

MEP Ciaran Cuffe (Greens/EFA, IE) acknowledged that “there is an absolute potential for micro-mobility as part of the solution for cities. We think that we need a modal shift, away from more harmful modes to the modes which are good for cities and neighbourhoods“. Furthermore, regarding urban space, Cuffe noted that the dimensions of private vehicles are increasing, which adds to the scarcity of space available for other modes.

MEP Marcos Ros Sempere (S&D, ES) highlighted the need to reorganise public space in European cities by allocating more funds for active and micro-mobility to be accessible to all levels of society. According to Ros Sempere, rethinking urban space and promoting a variety of mobility solutions will have a positive effect on citizens’ quality of life.

Pedro Homem de Gouveia, POLIS, called micro-mobility the ‘gateway drug to active mobility’. He stressed that we can not have coexistence without lowering speed limits on our streets, not only for micro-mobility but also for private cars. Furthermore, he noted that ‘we have a disappropriate allocation of space but we also have a completely disappropriate allocation of speed.’ He suggested sharing more space in cities for all modes of transport while lowering the speed.

Pauline Aymonier, Micro-Mobility for Europe, emphasised that ”active and micro-mobility are two sides of the same coin. Micro-mobility is not only about e-bikes and e-scooters but it is about creating a multimodal transport network that is more sustainable, safe and offers an alternative to car-dominated mobility.” Aymonier highlighted that shared e-scooters show a twice lower fatality risk than private e-scooters, based on data of 200 million trips from 2021. Moreover, she stated that between 25% and 55% of shared micro-mobility users report regularly using shared e-scooters to go to or from a public transit station, with 12-17 % of trips replacing car rides.

Voices from the audience

Annick Roetynck, LEVA-EU stated that existing rules are not fit for purpose and asked how technical specifications will be addressed in the TRAN Committe’s INI Report on the NUMF.

Christy Pearson, Voi, welcomed the speakers’ pledge for making more infrastructure available and asked where the space needed for micro-mobility should come from.

Tim Asperges, City of Leuven, raised safety concerns and asked for more data on the modal shift as a consequence of the availability of micro-mobility. He also flagged that shared mobility will have a vital role in future mobility.

Fuensanta Martinez Sans, ACEA, called on applying sustainable urban mobility indicators (SUMI) to shared mobility as SUMI only covers public transport for the moment.

Clean cities campaign summit

February 2023  


On 23 February 2023, Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE) had the chance to participate in the Clean Cities Campaign summit, dedicated to the topic of Micro-Mobility. 

The Clean Cities Campaign  hosted by Transport & Environment and is a network of over 70 NGOs and grassroots groups in Europe with the goal of accelerating cities’ transition to zero-emission mobility by 2030. In November 2022, CCC has joined MMfE and the Urban Intergroup of the European Parliament and published a joint letter outlining how cities benefit from micro-mobility.

With more than 400 million kilometers ridden on e-scooters alone in 2021 in more than 200 Cities micro-mobility has proven potential in accelerating cities’ transition to zero-emission transportation.  Between 35% and 55% of our users report regularly using shared e-scooters to go to or from a public transit station. During the summit, Micro-Mobility for Europe touched upon three overall themes: sustainability, safety and regulation.

MMfE emphasized that micro-mobility providers have made tremendous progress to reduce the carbon footprint of their service so cities can reduce theirs. In just 3 years, the industry has been able to extend the lifespan of shared e-scooters to over 5 years, reducing their carbon footprint by 80%. According to the latest research on the topic, shared e-scooters reduce transportation carbon emissions in cities around the globe from Paris to Seattle, Stockholm and Melbourne. 

Moreover, MMfE provided an overview of its recent publication of the first-of-its-kind factsheet on shared e-scooters incident data in Europe. Taking into account more than 240 million aggregated trips from 2021, the data shows that there is a 60% lower risk of incidents compared to 2019, that the fatality risk is twice as low than on private e-scooter, and rather similar to cyclists rate. MMfE is calling for hamonised incident reporting standards across Europe and more investment in protected infrastructure to improve the safety of vulnerable road users. 

Looking ahead, MMfE called for regulatory action to boost the uptake of micro-mobility, while ensuring the safe integration of these services in cities. MMfE reiterated the importance of reallocating the urban space from cars to build dedicated infrastructures fro micro mobility and harmonizing regulations across Europe. 

MMfE input to revision of MMTIS

Micro-mobility solutions can help boost smart and sustainable mobility in cities

January 2023  


Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE) welcomes the European Commission’s ambition to provide more data transparency and access in the transport sector, notably through the revision of the Multimodal Travel Information Services Directive (MMTIS).

MMfE believes it has a contribution to make to the National Access Points, given the range of mobility data it collects from its operations in more than 200 cities across Europe. The micro-mobility industry recognises the public value of its mobility data, having the potential to shed light on urban citizens’ new mobility habits and to inform policies and infrastructure planning encouraging the uptake of sustainable mobility. MMfE members have a strong track record in Business-to-Government data sharing and already share their data with most of the city authorities each individual operator is active in – essentially voluntarily complying with the Data Act’s Business-to-Government requirements. MMfE is committed to safeguarding the privacy of its users and to sharing data via the NAP in a fully GDPR-compliant manner.

In relation to the MMTIS revision, MMfE fully supports the directive’s goal of making multimodal travel data more widely accessible to citizens. Nevertheless, MMfE’s experience with National Access Points has demonstrated that, in its current shape, MMTIS requires micro-mobility operators to publicly share data and information that is considered commercially sensitive. Indeed, the publication of dynamic data covered under MMTIS requires operators to reveal key insights about their business and operations, notably related to their pricing strategies, the strategic placing and deployment of their vehicles as well as indications of their operational and technological performance. All these metrics represent key strategic levers that operators can use to position and/or differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market.

MMfE also believes that its mobility data holds the most value when accessible at an aggregated level, as opposed to the vehicle level, which is the current NAP format. Whilst our aggregate mobility insights have the potential to shed light on usage trends over time, it is hardly possible to derive such insights from real-time vehicle-level data. In this sense, the publication of micro-mobility data in an aggregated and operator- agnostic way would allow for the opening of key insights of public value, whilst protecting the commercial interests and competitive running of the industry.

Finally, it is essential to MMfE that the publication of its data (via API) on the NAPs does not add complexity and technical burden on MSPs. Indeed the integration into new data sharing (API) standards represents an important cost for micro-mobility operators, requiring a high amount of technical resources to integrate into the standard but also to continuously maintain it. Given this, it is important to minimise the technical burden put on operators by avoiding the duplication and design of new data-sharing standards and rather relying on existing industry-wide standards, that are already tried and tested.

Based on the background information shared above, Micro-mobility for Europe would like to share the following recommendations with the European Commission in the revision of MMTIS:

  • Ensure that a thorough assessment of the use cases, usage and value of the National Access Points feeds into the revision of MMTIS. Such an assessment should aim at evaluating which types of stakeholders use the NAPs, what value they receive from it, as well as what data points and formats bring the most value. For example, whilst dynamic, real-time and vehicle-level data can in theory help citizens understand local mobility offers, MMfE would like to understand to what extent National Access Points are actually being used by citizens for this specific purpose, given the commercial sensitivity of the data required.
  • Design safeguards or opt-out mechanisms related to the publication of data that can be considered commercially sensitive. One way to do this could be to favour the publication of aggregate insights that are presented in a way that no single MSP can be recognised, thus presenting industry-wide insights as opposed to company-level data.
  • Reduce the technical burden on Mobility Service Providers by relying on existing and tried-and-tested data-sharing standards for the publication of data on the NAP, thus avoiding the design of new standards.

EP event on the role of micro-mobility in the new urban mobility framework

January 2023 


On 10 January 2023, the European Parliament’s Urban Intergroup and Micro-Mobility for Europe hosted a debate on the role of micro-mobility in the New Urban Mobility Framework (NUMF). Speakers included MEP Jan Olbrycht (EPP, PL) and Vice-Presidents MEP Fabienne Keller (RE, FR) and MEP Andreas Schieder (S&D, AT) of the Urban Intergroup, Daniel Mes, Member of the Cabinet EVP Timmermans, Jens Müller, Policy and Research Lead, Clean Cities Campaign and Welmoed Neijmeijer from Micro-Mobility for Europe.



Panelists discussed the opportunities created by micro-mobility, as well as the challenges that the sector is confronted with. The need for more and better infrastructure for micro-mobility users, better integration with public transport, better education for road safety, the existing patchwork of applicable traffic rules, and the lack of a harmonised technical standard were raised as obstacles. 

However, already today the availability of micro-mobility reduces car dependency and complements public transport and is an innovation that helps cities to make urban mobility greener and smarter. Speaker Daniel Mes (Cabinet EVP Timmermans) stated that “banning micro-mobility in cities is not a desirable outcome from the point of view of a member of cabinet of EVP Timmermans”. 

During the event, MMfE also released 2021 insights into industry-aggregated safety injury data of shared e-scooter riders. Fatality rates are twice as low as private e-scooters and the overall risk of incidents requiring medical treatment is 60% lower than comparable data from 2019.

While speakers acknowledged the important role that micro-mobility already plays in diversifying the urban mobility landscape by reducing congestion and emissions, they called for action on:

  • Improving infrastructure: more space and safe infrastructure encourages the safe use of micro-mobility and cycling
  • Working towards harmonised technical standards: to ensure an innovation-friendly framework, EU technical requirements for personal light electric vehicles is needed for e-scooters and e-bikes
  • Encourage multimodality: micro-mobility strengthens public transport via first and last-mile trips and by making the combination more attractive, car dependency can be reduced

Speaker’s statements

MEP Andreas Schieder (S&D, AT) stated that “we can see an enormous amount of increase in the usage of e-scooters in the last year which is coming together with additional questions of infrastructure, safety and rules for parking”.

MEP Jan Olbrycht (EPP, PL) identified that there is a lack of definition when it comes to micro-mobility, which should be addressed. Furthermore, he highlighted that “we cannot solve problems of transport without urban policy”.

MEP Fabienne Keller (RE, FR) acknowledged that “sharing concepts enable citizens to try new services. We have to be careful with the rules imposed to not discourage their use” and noted that considering the weight of cars, “walking, cycling, e-scooter and e-bikes are a much preferred option”.

MEP Marcos Ros Sempere (S&D, ES) called for European funding to improve multimodal, sustainable mobility focusing on public transportation and shared mobility. Moreover, he asked for only funding for mobility projects that improve the urban mobility indicators.  

Daniel Mes (Cabinet EVP Timmermans) stated that “banning micro-mobility in cities is not a desirable outcome from the point of view of a member of cabinet of EVP Timmermans.”

Jens Müller, Clean Cities Campaign, referring to car dependency stated that “We urgently need to use all available options to reduce the use of polluting cars in our cities. There are plenty of workable options available to mayors to make everyone’s life better and tackle the climate crisis by letting citizens jump on shared bikes or e-scooters, while putting in place measures that guarantee road safety and a fair sharing of scarce public space.” 

Welmoed Neijmeijer, Micro-Mobility for Europe, emphasised that “to maximise the societal benefits of micro-mobility solutions, infrastructure is needed and authorities must move away from car-centric spatial planning”.   

Industry alliance publishes first-of-its-kind incident data involving shared e-scooters

January 2023 


Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE), the EU association of shared micro-mobility providers, is releasing the first-of-its-kind factsheet on incident data involving shared e-scooters in Europe.

Every safety incident is one of too many. By bringing transparency on the aggregated incident data of its six founding members (Bird, Bolt, Dott, Lime, Tier and Voi) in 2021, MMfE seeks to inform road safety policies that reduce incident risks for vulnerable road users, such as e-scooter riders, cyclists, pedestrians, in close collaboration with EU and local authorities.

Based on over 240 million shared e-scooter trips, accounting for over 461 million kilometers traveled, the collected incident data demonstrate that the overall risk of incidents requiring medical treatment is 60% lower than comparable data from 2019. In 2021, 5.1 injuries requiring medical treatment with shared e-scooters per million km were registered.

Moreover, fatality rates on shared e-scooters are twice as low as private e-scooters. Although, with the lack of a standardized incident framework in the EU, which MMfE calls for, shared e-scooter and private e-scooter incident data is most often combined in incident reporting. 

Overall, MMfE observes a similar risk of fatal incident for shared e-scooters riders as for cyclists. 

As motorized vehicles, in particular cars and trucks, remain the biggest source of road traffic fatalities in the EU, the industry association concludes with a set of recommendations to improve the safety of vulnerable road users: 

  • Investment in protected infrastructures
  • Harmonise incident reporting standards in the EU
  • Acknowledge e-scooter riders as vulnerable road users
  • Encourage rules enforcement by local authorities

MMfE is committed to improve road safety and remains open to work with authorities and other actors to achieve this common goal.

Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE) is an association of shared micro-mobility providers such as e-bikes and e-scooters. Our members aim to transform urban mobility by creating a sustainable and safe transport ecosystem together with the cities in which they operate. Shared micro-mobility plays an important role in solving cities’ most persisting challenges: traffic congestion, air and noise pollution, by reducing car use and filling gaps in public transit networks.

MMfE welcomes a new member

January 2023 


Micro-Mobility for Europe welcomed a new member joining the alliance: Superpedestrian! Our growing membership shows that there is a need for operators to join forces on EU level with the goal of transforming urban mobility by creating a sustainable transport ecosystem together with cities. 

With now seven members, namely Bird, Bolt, Dott, Lime, Superpedestrian, Tier and Voi, MMfE continues to defend the interests of the micro-mobility industry with the goal of guiding Europe towards a global leadership position in the adoption of sustainable urban transport.

Haya Verwoord Douidri, VP EMEA at Superpedestrian:

Superpedestrian looks forward to collaborating with MMfE members to establish the foundations of a sustainable micro-mobility ecosystem. This process and its outcomes are vital for the EU to meet its goals for our cities’ futures.”

How cities benefit from micro-mobility

November 2022 


The Clean Cities Campaign (CCC) hosted by Transport & Environment, Micro-Mobility for Europe (MMfE) and the Urban Intergroup of the European Parliament are publishing a Joint Letter outlining How Cities Benefit From Micro-Mobility. As it becomes increasingly clear that shared micro mobility services play a key role in achieving EU cities’ sustainable transportation goals, the three signatories are calling for a more collaborative and constructive regulatory approach between cities and private operators.

The three signatories emphasise that:

  • Micro-mobility plays an increasingly important role in achieving cities sustainable transportation’s goals and is one solution to cities’ persistent challenges like reducing traffic congestion and air and noise pollution
  • European cities should adopt a collaborative approach in regulating micro mobility, through open and constructive dialogue with private operators
  • Banning shared micro mobility services runs counter to cities’ stated sustainable transport goals and that there are better ways to ensure these services meet city’s goals while respecting residents and public space
  • Cities should prioritise the safety of vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and scooters riders by investing in infrastructure that creates safer spaces on streets and reduces space from cars

 

CCC, MMfE and the EP Urban Intergroup call on local authorities to take an open approach to dialogue and to consider the adoption of a regulatory framework that fosters the uptake of micro-mobility – a sector that has great potential for improving the living conditions of European citizens and creating safer and more sustainable cities.  

Micro-Mobility & sump guides

October 2022 


Summary

We welcome the publication of the SUMP Guide on safe use of micro- mobility devices in urban areas and appreciate having been consulted in the process of drawing up the guide. Also, MMfE gladly acknowledges that best practices and recommendations on the integration of micro-mobility in urban planning have been identified and that those recommendations, by encouraging safer use of such devices in urban areas, will help Europe in delivering its Vision Zero strategy.

MMfE is convinced that the guide can serve as a basis for the safe deployment of micro-mobility services in cities, making urban transport systems more accessible, affordable and sustainable. At the same time, MMfE remains open to exchange and discussion with policymakers and other actors.

The SUMP Guides recommendation acknowledges that improving the safe use of micro-mobility devices requires efforts and collaboration between providers, authorities on different levels and other actors. In particular with view to the upcoming Commission Recommendation to Member States on the national programme to support regions and cities in the roll-out of effective sustainable urban mobility plans as announced in the 2021 New Urban Mobility Framework, MMfE is sharing feedback on the SUMP Guide to constructively contribute to upcoming measures that promote micro-mobility in the EU.


Safety and infrastructure

We fully endorse the ambition of integrating micro-mobility into Vision Zero. Research reveals that reliance on the private car is a considerable barrier to achieving the vision for a safer future. As such, the modal shift away from cars is a key objective in achieving Vision Zero. Reducing fatalities and injuries across the EU, regardless of the means of transport, should be pursued by all cities. Most of them have realised the importance of allocating sufficient space to pedestrians, cyclists, and users of e-scooters, to contribute to the overarching goal of reducing the numbers and use of private cars. Making the step from realisation to implementation is often challenging for cities. MMfE, therefore, calls on the European Commission to support cities in creating more space for these user groups, through infrastructure investments, by welcoming shared mobility operators, and through cooperation with local mobility actors.

Infrastructure and speed

One way to rethink and reallocate urban space is by introducing pop-up bike lanes, which is one step towards redistributing urban space equitably. Ideally, these bike lanes are separated from traffic with more than just paint. After all, paint is not an infrastructure and does not protect vulnerable cyclists or users of e-scooters or e-bikes. Protected infrastructure empower urban dwellers to pursue sustainable mobility solutions. It is important to ensure that the speed set for e-scooters reflects the infrastructure available and who e- scooters share the road with. For example implementing a speed limit that is much slower than average bike speeds can cause risks by disrupting traffic flows. Also, excessively slow speeds can be dangerous for e-scooter riders and increase the likelihood of a safety incident occurring.

While we welcome the findings on safety and infrastructure in the guide, a greater emphasis should be made throughout the guide on the need for better infrastructure for micro-mobility. We strongly believe that the focus should be on prevention rather than protection. Cities can prioritise prevention through the creation of divided and stand-alone infrastructure which separates e-scooters, and other vulnerable road users from cars. Even though prevention is the most powerful way to protect vulnerable road users from harm, MMfE is aware that there will inevitably be situations where they and motor vehicles will need to interact.

Helmets

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, due to the inevitability of some accidents, we strongly recommend our users wear a helmet. This should however not be made mandatory, as this is known to limit the uptake of shared and sustainable modes of transport, which in turn makes riding less safe due to the safety in numbers phenomenon.

It is common knowledge among cycling advocates that imposing a helmet requirement may do more harm than good. When municipalities implement a helmet requirement, ridership drops significantly. Fewer micro-mobility riders mean less safety for the fewer riders on the road, because less investment is made in safe infrastructure and cars do not learn or expect to share the road. Introducing a bikeshare program, for example, is associated with a decrease in the absolute number of bicycle accidents, even though the number of people riding bicycles increases and a smaller portion of those riders wear helmets (see here). The United Kingdom determined not to impose a helmet requirement for bicycles because it found that it was ineffective and negatively impacted ridership (see here); it is applying the same logic to e-scooters.

Driving under influence

We strongly support that intoxicated users of micro-mobility services should be treated in the same way as users of other vehicle types, which requires both awareness raising and enforcement by the police.

Importance of training

With the increasing availability of micro-mobility services, MMfE welcomes the recommendation to engage with vulnerable road users to understand their concerns and to offer a platform for exchange, for the benefit of the citizens and the urban mobility system. Beyond these exchange opportunities, we encourage the offer and promotion of training for micro-mobility and road users, to inform them about risks and rules. MMFE welcomes the recommendation to educate both micro-mobility users and other road users on how to safely interact with new modes of transport. This should be done by both national bodies as well as operators. This should start at the primary school level, to ensure that future road users are familiar with the different vehicle types that they will encounter when independently navigating our cities’ streets.


Micro-mobility data and insights

Data from micro-mobility services offers potential for cities and authorities to better understand mobility patterns and weaknesses of the local transport system.

It has the potential to support human-centric urban planning based on observed mobility patterns and demand. It is in this context that MMfE members share data with a large number of cities they operate in.

Nevertheless, based on MMfE’s experience, we have noted that the full potential stemming from micro-mobility data is still untapped. Cities do not consistently have the capacity to manage our data efficiently, which has resulted in our data primarily being used to monitor the micro-mobility operations instead of supporting cities’ urban planning and traffic management tasks to encourage the uptake of greener transport modes.

Furthermore, the absence of standardized framework or performance indicators for how micro-mobility data can support cities’ sustainability policy objectives has made data-sharing an inefficient task overall. Some member states and cities have initiated the design of tailored standards for micro-mobility data sharing instead of using existing industry-wide ones or have very specific data requirements. MMfE members also noted that the privacy safeguards needed to share micro-mobility data in a GDPR- compliant manner are not always fully clear to city authorities.

We strongly believe that the aforementioned points and challenges should be addressed at EU-level in order to leverage the potential that micro-mobilty data presents in shaping sustainable urban environments.

Finally, we also advocate for introducing a systematic and universal methodology to monitor accidents across Europe, with a clear distinction made to incidents that happen with privately owned and shared vehicles, for all vehicle categories.


Technical requirements

We endorse the Guide’s recommendation that European institutions and standardisation bodies should agree on the classification and safety standards for micro-mobility devices. This would create consistent safety standards and provide micro-mobility providers with clarity as regards investment in new vehicles. In particular, vehicle standards should not be set at city level as this leads to a patchwork of different standards across the EU.


Selection procedures

Requirements set out in tenders should be aligned with city goals, in particular with the objective of reducing the number of private cars, increasing accessibility and redesigning urban space. In addition, licenses should cover a period of at least 12 months, better 24-36 months, which is also reflected in the SUMP Guide. Moreover, limits to the fleet size do not allow providers to adjust to the changing and evolving need for additional supply of micro-mobility devices. Instead of imposing direct caps, alternatives such as dynamic caps and seasonal allotments could be more effective to match demand with supply.

It should ideally be left up to the cities to choose the instrument they want to apply in choosing operators, where a tender is merely one such instrument. Other solutions that cities can put in place are the introduction of memoranda of understanding, licenses, authorizations and letters of intent.

Finally, cities, regardless of the type of selection procedure chosen, should not include selection criteria based on the request to micro- mobility operators of economic contributions or revenue sharing schemes.


Parking

Solutions for fixed docking are not the best way to ensure compliant parking and the suggestions on parking and docking should and leave no room for flexibility at the city level, taking the specificities of the city into account. Physical docks are expensive and inflexible, and require significant city staff time to plan locations and coordinate build out. In neighborhoods with less space and more foot traffic, for which a city has particular concerns about micro-mobility parking, a combination of light touch infrastructure and virtual tech to ensure rider compliance is sufficient, as well as affordable and flexible. The Norwegian Institute of Transport Economics (TØI) analyzed the implementation of scooter parking infrastructure and found no difference in efficacy between heavy infrastructure, e.g. racks, and spaces that are indicated only with paint and geofencing5. The study also found parkings compliance is higher when parking spaces are located in places that correspond to common ride end areas.


Environmental impact and sustainability

In just a few years, micro-mobility operators have managed to significantly improve the environmental performance of their e- scooter vehicles. This has been achieved through improved vehicle design (i.e. robustness, repairability), the increased usage of recycled materials and, most importantly, by extending the lifespan of our vehicles. Whilst the SUMP guide points to a 3-6 months lifespan of e- scooters, our latest generation of vehicles have been redesigned in a way that their lifespan was extended to 5+ years. An article published in 2020 showed that the lifespan of e-scooters had already increased to 24 months; this has been extended further as we continue improving robust vehicle design and repairability, significantly reducing e-scooters’ environmental footprint.

These developments have made e-scooters a sustainable mobility choice that has a strong contribution to make in a diversified transport mix. As outlined in the SUMP guide, it is indisputable that e- bikes and bicycles generate important health benefits as an active way to travel. In this context, the value generated by e-scooters should not be benchmarked against other sustainable modes but rather looked at as one piece of a multimodal transport network that is able to meet the various mobility needs and use cases of urban citizens.

For example, our internal research indicates that whilst e-scooters are primarily used for shorter distances (i.e. to complement public transport journeys for the first and last mile), e-bikes tend to be used for longer, mid-range distances. This points to the need for a variety of sustainable choices to simultaneously exist and complement one another to meet evolving mobility needs.

The ITF confirms this finding by highlighting that ‘micromobility enriches urban mobility and has the potential to change behaviour and transition to low-carbon urban mobility’ and that widespread availability of e-scooters, particularly for first/last-mile connections, could improve access while shortening commuting time and reducing reliance on cars (ITF, 2021).


Policy recommendations

In light of the upcoming Commission Recommendation to Member States on the national programme to support regions and cities in the roll-out of effective sustainable urban mobility plans, MMfE calls on the European Commission to:

  • Advocate for integrating micro-mobility in SUMPs as an enabler to cleaner, less congested, more inclusive and liveable cities;

  • Substantiate the role that micro-mobility can play in moving away from cities’ and citizen’s dependency on private cars;

  • Endorse micro-mobility as one component of a diversified urban mobility system;

  • Emphasise the crucial role that micro-mobility can play in complementing public transport and suggest member states to put in place mechanisms that favor the integration of micro- mobility into the public transport system;

  • Propose that member states adopt measures that discourage the use of cars, particularly in city centers;

  • Encourage member states to use revenue from car parking and fines to invest in infrastructure for sustainable mobility.

Technical requirements for PMDS

September 2022 


Micro-Mobilty for Europe (MMfE) was invited to present its views in the workshop on ”technical requirements and road safety of Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs)’’ on 14 September, organised by DG GROW and DG MOVE.

 

Road safety data shows that the number of e-scooters incidents in Germany were limited

Besides MMfE, representatives from Member States presented their views and provided information on the applicable national rules on technical requirements for light electric vehicles (LEVs). Member States also shared road safety data from their respective countries. Patryk Dudek from the German Transport Agency highlighted that their official national statistics show that e-scooters caused a very limited number of incidents compared to other transport modes, based on data from 2021 (i.e. bicycles and cars). MMfE welcomes the fact that EU Member States are monitoring road safety data on new modes more structurally, and would welcome the opportunity to contribute to these efforts.


The need for horizontal legislation for personal light electric vehicles

MMfE’s representative emphasised the need for a unified approach and called for horizontal legislation that is innovation-friendly, i.e. not too strict, to avoid hampering innovation and limiting the offer of sustainable mobility solutions. Furthermore, MMfE called upon the EU not to allow for deviation on a national level to offer legal certainty to producers.

The main issue discussed was the absence of central legislation setting technical requirements for “personal light electric vehicles” – which should include e-scooters and e-bikes with a design speed of up to 25 km/h. In the absence of horizontal legislation at European level, regulatory divergences at national level are expected to intensify. This will lead to barriers in the internal market, which is contrary to the principles on which the single European market is founded.

Hence, MMfE strongly supports the adoption of a common regulatory framework that creates a new dedicated category and that will establish technical requirements for personal light electric vehicles.

In the creation of a new central regulatory framework, it is essential that the EU does not impose measures that could be detrimental to the uptake of sustainable mobility options, like an obligation to homologate vehicles. There is no evidence that a type approval procedure involves an increase in security levels for users and third parties, in comparison to the current system based on self-certification, as identified by a TRL report. If a sort of type approval procedure is deemed necessary, the EU should propose a light procedure that is not too burdensome in terms of time and cost for the micro-mobility industry.

Furthermore, the imposition of regulatory measures to which motor vehicles are subject should be avoided such as the obligation of motor insurance and of the license plate for shared micro-mobility devices. These measures are designed for heavy vehicles (passenger cars and vans) and do not reconcile with the nature, size, and purpose of light electric vehicles.

Finally, MMfE seizes this opportunity to thank the European Commission for the invitation to the stakeholder dialogue. MMfE would also like to reiterate its willingness to work together with the decision-makers and other relevant players, for the establishment of an EU legislative framework that favors the healthy and continuous development of sustainable transport solutions across Europe.