London's Micromobility Strategy
August 10, 2022TechCitiesPolicyCompanies
London's Micromobility strategy:
There is something peculiar about how different micromobility firms are operating in London. There seems to be so many restrictions on usage of the ebikes, which are not licensed by central government unlike Escooters. Councils take a sensible view of as long as they are not in the way of pedestrian walkways, they actually run Ebike schemes that micromobility firms can pitch for to help councils reach their net zero targets.
So why is it that micromobility firms in London choose to restrict Ebike usage almost as much as Escooters? A liberal apporach to Ebike area usage is both highly diserable for users and independent of escooter deployment policy.
The reason for micromobility firms to take these restrictions, according to a source close to the decision making is because micromobility firms who have escooters put their ebikes into the same bracket. While they are keen to keep councils on their side by keeping restrictions on ebikes as well as Escooters and for operational reasons. While they hope in the long term when escooters do become deregulated they are seen to be a good operator and looked favourably by councils. Especially if there are any bidding processes required to operate.
Why is this restrictive strategy not going to work?
The real shared micromobility solution in London and the UK is Ebikes. Shared Escooters will always be a bit of an novelty for a range of reasons. While Ebikes are being used across the age and socio economic range.
The idea that Escooters in London are going to provide the golden rainbow misses the popularity and acceptance of the shared ebike model.
We are finding certain micromobility firms that operate both ebike and scooters have their ebikes piled up on one side on the Thames. As users these micromobility operators know south of the Thames the Ebikes are, along with no Esooters are allowed. They choose to take other micromobility operator's Ebikes.
The firms that understand the difference are having the lunch of those who choose to be restrictive.
Here is a screenshot of one of the London operator's maps, Dott's.
Quite clearly illustrating the highly restrictive nature. The result giving micromobility a bad name and punishing the fans of this exciting and low impact way of traveling in the urban enviromnent.
Here is the strategy's outcome: