What is urban micromobility?

Do not give many turns to the concept of micromobility! We are going to talk about bicycles and scooters and about the impact they are having on our cities, especially since the appearance of electrified units .

This electric micromobility , which has broken into our urban space , is composed of low-speed, small and light means of transport that run on electricity and are typically used for short-distance trips.

This electrification of vehicles as well known as bicycles, skateboards and mopeds , offer our cities opportunities to advance sustainable transport solutions when replacing passenger vehicles based on combustion engines .

And they are, precisely, electric bicycles and electric scooters offer citizens new alternatives to reach their destinations without relying on private vehicles of low occupancy, which helps to reduce trips with a high ratio of emissions per occupant .

It is also true that this new type of transportation of people faces significant challenges .

One is to get people out of their cars to adopt other modes of travel .

And the other is to combine public transport with what is known as first and last mile solutions .

This circumstance occurs when people do not have affordable and efficient means to reach public transport , making it difficult for us to encourage ourselves to abandon our combustion vehicles.

Precisely one of the main opportunities to introduce electric micromobility vehicles is their ability to solve this first and last mile problem .

The truth is that almost everyone can use electric scooters to travel short distances, regardless of our fitness or ability

Electric bicycles can cover longer distances , making use go beyond the first and last mile.

With the implementation of systems sharing , it is increasingly common citizens are encouraged to move these scooters or electric bikes to reach stops of bus, metro, tram or rail.

In fact, these sustainable alternatives are convincing us and leaving our cars at home .

If we look a little at the distance of our journeys we see that most urban trips are less than 5 kilometers .

This distance is short enough for bicycles and scooters to travel it in approximately the time that conventional vehicles .

Thanks to the increased speed of electric micromobility , these vehicles can cover longer journeys and faster than bicycles and human-powered scooters.

In any case, replacing cars has important benefits in relation to the environment : if the use of electric bicycles increased to 11%, it would mean a 7% reduction in CO2 emissions from urban transport in 2030, which would be equivalent to removing 134 millions of cars on our urban roads.

Up to 50% of short-distance car trips in US cities, and up to 70% in UK cities could be replaced by these electric micromobility alternatives .

In addition, these electric vehicles are easily integrated into existing cycling infrastructures , which makes their adoption quick and relatively simple.

With this change, the amount of passengers on public transport would increase in cities , avoiding the use of private vehicles, relieving congestion and increasing available public space.

In fact, the fewer cars traveling, the safer our streets will be for everyone, especially for pedestrians

To obtain these and other benefits and encourage the use of these electric means of transport, cities must develop regulations and regulations similar to those of bicycles and avoid equipping them with conventional motor vehicles.

Cities should also strengthen existing cycling infrastructure to accommodate more bicycles and electric scooters. If the cycling infrastructure does not exist, it is a good opportunity to create it

For those vehicles that do not have a specific base to deposit them, cities must have clear rules on their parking to ensure that sidewalks and driveways are not blocked.

Luckily many of these changes are affordable and do not require a significant economic investment.

Finally, we would like to highlight that the widespread use of scooters and electric bicycles can help reduce the presence of the private car in our cities, generating important benefits that increase on the same scale as its adoption does .

To a large extent, the success of micromobility depends on their incorporation as a key resource in the municipal plans of our cities, and on the fact that citizens bet on changing habits and opt for these eco-intelligent alternatives .

If you are interested in this matter, we recommend that you read this recent study by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) , entitled E-Bikes & E-Scooters: Drivers of Climate Action , so you can check the potential of this type of mobility to improve urban transport and generate more sustainable cities.


by Abdullah Sam
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