As a transportation advocacy organization, we strive to create safe, healthy, walkable, bikeable, and welcoming urban environments. We also encourage the use of public transportation in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and criteria air pollutants that impact our environment and air quality.
New mobility modes like electric scooters and electric bikes can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector and improve mobility for those with very limited options if they are guided by a strong commitment to supporting equity and existing public transit. Private companies operating shared, electric, and accessible mobility devices can and should be integrated with and complement public transit, promote the most sustainable and affordable modes, improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and ensure universal access and choice.
We want municipalities to embrace these new modes of mobility as we expand our transportation system and address first/last mile issues. But let's do it right.
We have joined up with transportation, environmental, and equity groups to embrace certain principles that we are advocating for cities to adopt when they develop ordinances and pilot programs.
Here are some principles, built on the foundational Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, that we believe are necessary when allowing electric scooters, e-bikes, and electric bicycles to operate in the public right of way for any first/last mile solutions:
- Enable mobility services that are shared, electric and accessible, integrated with and complementing public transit.
- Prioritize reducing car ownership, vehicle miles traveled, emissions and traffic by including non-vehicular modes in mobile apps and encouraging multi-modal, shared-ride, and public options for mobility.
- Focus on equity by ensuring services are accessible for families, people with disabilities, communities of color, low-income communities, older adults, people with language barriers, and others with special needs.
- Commit to geographic, socio-economic and racial equity to ensure that all residents have access to these mobility options, particularly those in transit poor neighborhoods.
- Commit to the safety of users and the public as a whole, by working with users to obey all applicable State laws and City ordinances, including minimum age limits, and by working to ensure that devices don’t block sidewalks, curb ramps, ADA access, and doorways.
- Conduct outreach and user education around safe operating speeds and tips for sharing the public right of way to ensure public safety and reduce information barriers. Use operations fees to fund outreach and education, and partner with community based organizations to conduct such activities when feasible.
- Support complete streets and Vision Zero policies that prioritize safe and efficient use of street space. Work to create drop zones for dockless devices either by reimagining curbside parking for more than just automobiles or by establishing bike corral and dockless parking areas in “furniture zones” (the section of sidewalk between the curb and the pedestrian) where street furniture, lighting, benches, utility poles, tree pits, bicycle/scooter racks can live, or similar strategies to ensure pedestrian safety.
- Require operators to provide durable products that are well-maintained and long-lasting, ensuring reliability of service and reducing negative environmental impacts.
- Use “geo-fencing” and shared mobility drop zones to cluster shared mobility with major transit stations and community destinations.
- Expand roadway infrastructure that supports safe walking, biking and scooting, such as protected bike lanes, on-street parking corrals, and high visibility crosswalks.
- Require operators to collect and share open data in standard formats to inform program evaluation and future planning.
- Protect against monopolistic business practices by ensuring competitive franchise arrangements so costs remain affordable.
Is your city considering a proposal on electric scooters and bicycles right now? Tell us about it!