2019 was a landmark year for e-scooters with continued global expansion for e-scooter operators and millions of riders taking advantage of this new means of transit. However, the transportation benefits of e-scooters also stirred up much controversy in the past year, with many city regulators and residents questioning the safety and sustainability of micromobility options. As we look ahead to the coming year, here are my New Year’s resolutions for e-scooters and micromobility in 2020:
● For e-scooter safety and accessibility to become a bigger priority for cities: In the coming year, my hope is that cities will put a targeted focus on safe and accessible micromobility options by way of city regulation, urban infrastructure investment and continued education. Whether it is implementing strong micromobility regulations upfront like the city of Gainesville or establishing car-free zones like in the historic city of York or along Market Street in San Francisco, my hope is that cities will continue to work towards a higher standard for pedestrian safety and accessibility.
● For more cities around the world to embrace e-scooters: As we enter the new year, I look forward to seeing more municipalities globally beginning to open their doors to e-scooters and other micromobility solutions. If cities and operators can join forces to establish appropriate parameters and infrastructure, we will see fewer cities banning e-scooters outright and communities will become more accepting of the changing transit tides.
● For cities to reimagine the urban streetscape: Some cities, particularly in the U.S., don’t currently have the appropriate infrastructure to allow for the safe expansion of new and innovative transportation options. However, my wish for 2020 and beyond is that more U.S. cities will begin to plan ahead for the next decade of urban transit. In order to proactively address the transportation issues they will face as urban populations continue to rise, cities must begin to rebuild their streetscapes to accommodate a variety of personal mobility, mass transit and walkable spaces for pedestrians.
● For micromobility to become a staple in daily urban transit: Once considered to be simply a fun activity as opposed to a reliable means of transportation, my resolution for 2020 is that more riders will embrace e-scooters as a vital part of their daily commutes. New technology-driven rider options – such as e-scooter subscription services, monthly payment plans, charging and parking stations, and frequent-rider programs – will help encourage people to use micromobility options on a daily basis.
● For green solutions to take center stage: As new, green solutions – including alternative energy sources, such as solar power, and new means of transit, such as micromobility vehicles – become more readily available and environmentally friendly, my hope is for cities to establish policies to take full advantage of these new alternatives and make a significant step towards a more sustainable environment and future.