New mobility modes, such as e-scooters, have expanded very fast in cities in developed and developing countries. These new mobility modes pose both opportunities and challenges for sustainable urban mobility that need to be addressed in a way that supports innovative approaches, provides flexibility and adapts quickly to the changing environments and industries. At the same time, the regulations need to ensure that their use compromises neither safety nor public space. 

In this context, the Urban Pathways Project put together a webinar, intended for city-level officials and technical staff, where representatives from European and Latin American municipalities, e-scooters operators, as well as from research institutions shared their views and experience on how to regulate these new modes in an effective manner. The webinar counted on the inputs of:

  • Alvin Mejía (@cityemissions), Research Fellow at the Mobility and International Cooperation Unit of the Wuppertal Institute
  • Stephen Perkins (@ITF_Forum), Head of the International Transport Forum (ITF) Research Centre
  • Diego Assunção (@OficialBHTRANS), Project Management Analyst at the Transport Company of Belo Horizonte (BHTRANS) 
  • Emma Silver (@emmaboon), Government Partnerships at BIRD
  • Matthias Van Wijnendaele (@mvwn), Cycling policy advisor to the Mobility Minister of the Brussels Region 

One of the main concerns about e-scooters is that they might compete with active mobility alternatives, i.e. walking and cycling. However, the data presented in the webinar showed that despite some modal shift in that direction, there are a considerable number of trips (about 30% in selected US cities) done by e-scooters that have replaced car or taxi trips. Regarding the safety and public space concerns, the speakers agreed on the need of a licensing system with clear rules for the operators (e.g. parking zones, speed limit, insurance, etc.), but most of all on the need of reallocating public space to alternative and low-carbon mobility modes.

See all the presentations here