Welcome to Shared Mobility Inc. (SMI)’s March update on Informing Electric Micromobility (EMM) Policy Through Demonstrations & Planning, a NYSERDA funded project. This past month, we have been preparing for a summer of EMM demonstration programming and working closely with our partners at the University at Buffalo.
We’re looking forward to welcoming new EMM operators to upstate New York. In Syracuse, an RFP went out for the “SYNC” Shared Micromobility System and in Ithaca, an RFI went out for bikeshare and shared micromobility.
EMM news updates
More details on New York City’s e-scooter pilot continue to emerge. NYC’s DOT has announced that the pilot will initially be limited to portions of the Bronx that are outside of the range of the city’s bikeshare program, Citi Bike.
After Lime decided to discontinue the popular Blue Bikes program last summer, bikeshare is coming back to New Orleans under management from local nonprofit Blue Krewe.
Lime which has moved away from its origins as a bikeshare operator is now making moves to reinvest in the bikeshare business; Lime announced a new e-bike model and a year end goal of operating bikeshare in 50 cities.
In another win for LADOT, a federal judge dismissed a challenge to their MDS data sharing requirements which require EMM operators to provide the city with real-time vehicle location data.
Building upon last month’s proposed legislation granting federal tax credits for individuals that buy e-bikes, Washington State may eliminate sales tax on e-bike purchases. In the Bay Area, low-income residents have been given the green light to replace old, high-polluting cars with e-bikes under the state of California’s Clean Cars for All program.
For those in the market for e-bikes, it will be better to buy sooner rather than later. Multiple factors including higher prices of source materials and the reinstating of tariffs on Chinese e-bike imports are expected to lead to e-bike price increases.
Many EMM companies have been trying to distinguish the products and services they offer. European scooter operator Voi recently announced that it’s next generation e-scooter will include turning indicator lights. Lime has reportedly launched a fleet of accessible scooters in San Francisco, including three wheeled and seated scooters.
Meanwhile Bird has been less focused on innovative device design or operational models, and instead has been soliciting its services to small cities as well as rural and suburban towns across the country, many of them with populations under 50,000 people.
University at Buffalo studio updates
The following is an update from this project’s accompanying University at Buffalo urban planning graduate studio course:
So far, students have researched the prospects and challenges of EMM in cities; how EMM fits into existing and emerging transportation ideas, such as active transportation and mobility as a service; and understanding Buffalo’s context (e.g., socio-demographic, land use and transportation) to guide planning proposals around EMM. Students are currently working on two main tasks.
The first task involves analyzing EMM and EMM-related policies across sample cities to inform best policy practices for EMM policy and implementation in Buffalo and other cities in Upstate New York. The second task focuses on assembling and ranking variables, with the help of experts, to conduct a suitable analysis, aimed at identifying candidate street neighborhoods for EMM piloting in Buffalo.
The studio has benefited from the expertise of local, regional and national experts who have shared their insights with the class on various EMM and EMM-related topics.