A Year in Review
Welcome to Shared Mobility Inc. (SMI)’s year end update on Informing Electric Micromobility (EMM) Policy Through Demonstrations & Planning, a NYSERDA funded project.
This past year, SMI was engaged across a broad spectrum of activities through our EMM project. This included brokering discussion with local leaders about how EMM systems could work in various regions across the state. We also piloted new forms of shared e-bike operations with our E-Bike Library Pilot in Western New York and held public demo events for members of the public to test ride EMM devices. Lastly, we worked with a graduate level studio course at the University of Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning on planning recommendations for EMM implementation.
EMM demonstrations across New York State
We took to the road and demonstrated e-bikes and e-scooters with stakeholders in Albany, the North Country and Binghamton. At these demonstrations, we brokered discussion with local leaders about how EMM systems, like E-Bike Libraries, could work in these regions, discussed the ins and outs of EMM policy, and got folks familiar with what it’s like to ride EMM devices. Thanks to everyone who came out!
EMM demos with stakeholders in the North Country of New York State
Western New York E-Bike Library Pilot
Our Western New York E-Bike Library Pilot program was a first of its kind initiative to make e-bikes freely available for community members. Members of the program attended an in-person orientation to learn the ins and outs of the program. After orientation, members could access the e-bikes for short trips from four e-bike stations in Buffalo and one in Niagara Falls. Members, particularly older riders, reported that e-bikes made them feel comfortable riding further on a bicycle.
The program was led in partnership with Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative and East Side Bike Club. We also worked with other community organizations in Western New York including PUSH Buffalo and GObike Buffalo. We worked with our community partners to build programming and events around the shared e-bikes, including group bike rides.
University at Buffalo EMM Studio
This project’s accompanying University at Buffalo urban planning graduate studio worked to apply a mobility justice framework to planning for EMM, using Buffalo as their focus city. Drawing from an exhaustive study of existing conditions in the city related to demographics and existing mobility infrastructure and options, the class put forward recommendations to guide the planning process for EMM in Buffalo. These recommendations included actions to foster community involvement and dialogue in EMM implementation, increase economic activity through EMM usage, improve the quality of existing active transportation infrastructure, and implement more mobility hubs, amongst other recommendations.
As a basis for their EMM planning recommendations for Buffalo, the studio class analyzed the city’s existing transportation characteristics
EMM news updates
Beyond the WNY E-Bike Library Pilot, community organizations around the country are developing E-Bike Library programs to make e-bike technology more accessible for marginalized communities.
In April, New York City’s DOT announced that Bird, Lime, and VeoRide would be the three operators permitted in the city’s scooter pilot program. The program didn’t actually launch until August.
In June, CDTA in the capital region announced that they will be launching a scooter program called SCOOT next month. In Rochester after a year without bikeshare after Zagster left town, HOPR has put a handful of e-scooters on city sidewalks and has announced that they will be launching e-bikes and pedal bikes as well.
In October, it was reported that prices are increasing in San Francisco to use e-bikeshare. Users say it is nearly the same price as using an Uber.
This past year lawmakers proposed the E-BIKE Act, which would provide federal tax credits for individuals that buy e-bikes.