Micromobility: abiding by the rules?

Enlighten • Pulse #4 • 5 min
By Lesley Brown By Jeremy Yap Deputy Chief Executive of Public Transport, Policy and Planning, Land Transport Authority (LTA) (Singapore) By Christophe Najdovski Deputy Mayor of Paris (France), with responsibility for transport, roads, travel and public spaces

The growing popularity of micromobility or personal mobility devices (PMDs) – monowheels, hoverboards, free‐ floating electric mopeds and scooters – in many cities worldwide, is highlighting the need for specific rules and regulations. Pulse met with transport directors from two major cities, Paris and Singapore, to find out more about their experiences and convictions.

Viewpoint

“In Paris, we have adopted an open-minded but firm approach with operators. We can’t let just anyone
do just anything in the public space.”

Christophe Najdovski, Deputy Mayor of Paris (France), with responsibility for transport, roads, travel and public spaces

“Paris is open to innovation in public transport, and to personal mobility devices (PMDs) in particular because they provide services that meet new mobility needs, in addition to those already on offer. Nevertheless, we are facing major challenges. These mainly concern parking of PMDs, their occupation of the public space and proper integration into the city. A year ago, the unclear and incomplete legal framework meant electric scooter services could proliferate any which way. Since then, operators have had no scruples about rolling out their fleets in districts that are already extremely crowded. This compromises safety for all and the accessibility of pavements for pedestrians. At the start of 2019, we decided to issue fines for riding and parking free-floating electric scooters on the pavement. Over the following six months, 1,200 devices were impounded.
We have also drawn up a code of conduct which was signed by free-floating bike and moped operators in June 2018, and by electric scooter operators in May 2019. For the latter, the Conseil de Paris (Paris Council) has approved a fee to be paid in exchange for occupying the public space. The revenue generated will be used to fund the creation of dedicated parking ‘hubs’ and introduction of services that are ‘less floating’.
In a further step, we have capped the number of electric scooters. In Paris at the beginning of June 2019, we counted 12 scooter operators and over 20,000 shared scooters in service; one month later, several operators had suspended their operations and we counted just under 15,000 scooters on the city streets.
Despite such moves, we still need to take further action, in relation to employment standards, the life cycle of the scooters, and so forth. When the new mobility orientation law (loi d’orientation des mobilités, LOM) is finally adopted, we will be able to issue a call for tenders in the fourth quarter 2019. Just two or three operators will be selected and they will be obliged to guarantee good working conditions for their teams and monitor the sustainability of their fleets.”

Christophe Najdovski

Christophe Najdovski has held the position of Deputy Mayor of Paris (France), with responsibility for transport, roads, travel and public spaces since 2014. He is also president of the European Cyclists Federation, which brings together all national cycling associations at the European level.


Shared electric scooters in Paris

Number of operators: 12
(as of June 2019)

Number of devices in the public space: 15,000


 

Viewpoint

“In Singapore we need micromobility to expand mobility options. We are working to establish the right balance between keeping the pavements safe and facilitating micromobility.”

Jeremy Yap, Deputy Chief Executive of Public Transport, Policy and Planning, Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore

“Singapore’s Active Mobility Act (AMA), in force since 1 May 2018, is designed to ensure the PMD ecosystem develops in a safe and sustainable manner. Today, micromobility companies (such as free-floating bike share providers) in the city state must obtain a licence to operate in public space. We run a two-tiered system comprising a full licence and a sandbox scheme. All new companies start off in the sandbox, with a controlled fleet size, to allow the LTA to assess their ability to run a device-sharing service in a responsible manner before granting any full licences.
Evaluation criteria for these licences include applicants’ plans to manage indiscriminate parking, compliance with motorised PMD fire safety requirements, their ability to maintain a healthy fleet utilisation rate, and track records.
Working to establish the right balance between keeping the pavements safe for all users and facilitating micromobility is key for the LTA. Riding PMDs on pavements is permitted, subject to certain conditions, like a cap on the motorised device speed and mandatory registration for both shared and even privately-owned electric scooters. This makes these devices easier to identify, which in turn helps in reporting and regulating them, as well as keeping everyone safe.
Educating the public, especially children and young people in order to teach good riding behaviour early on, is another priority. Our active mobility team at the LTA does a good job here by communicating on social media and via other channels.
The LTA believes building up a code of conduct over time to establish social norms will enable, encourage and facilitate micromobility. We need micromobility to expand the options because traditional scheduled mobility can be costly and PMDs grow options for first/last mile trips.”

Jeremy Yap

held the position of Deputy Chief Executive, Public Transport, Policy and Planning at Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) since 2015. He has also served as Deputy Director for the land transport at the Ministry of Transport, Singapore. He is currently the Committee Chair of Organising Authorities for the Brussels based UITP (International Association of Public Transport).


Shared electric scooters and bikes in Singapore

Number of operators of electric scooters:
LTA will award licences by 3Q2019

Number of operators of electric bikes:
6 for 39,500 devices in total


 

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