European leaders call for improved public-private collaboration in regulating micromobility across EU cities
Today Micro Mobility for Europe, the EU association of shared micromobility providers (of which Lime is member), joined the European Parliament’s Urban Intergroup and the Clean Cities Campaign hosted by Transport & Environment (T&E) signed a joint letter asking for improved collaboration between local authorities and private operators when it comes to regulating micromobility in the EU. The letter highlights the importance of shared e-bike and e-scooter services in helping EU cities achieve their ambitious and vital sustainability goals.
"Shared micromobility can be an essential part of reducing car use in our cities. It helps close gaps in public transport networks, provide a reliable way to get from A to B even at rush hour, and reduce the number of parking places” explains Barbara Stoll, Director of the Clean Cities Campaign (CCC).
Today, micromobility is often regulated punitively, with requirements that go far beyond those of privately owned bikes and scooters, much less the requirements placed on drivers. From disproportionate speed caps and operational fees, to expensive technology to regulate where vehicles can physically travel, to operating on infrastructure historically designed to prioritise car travel, regulations that singles out shared micromobility curtails its proven potential to accelerate EU cities’ transition towards zero-emission transportation.
The letter outlines how micromobility services help enlarge public transit catchment areas, shift people from motorized vehicles and ultimately reduce car use, congestion, air and noise pollution, and improve the sustainability of city transportation networks. A recent study from Fraunhofer ISI, found shared e-scooters and shared e-bikes both reduce carbon emissions and have a net positive environmental impact on decarbonizing urban mobility around the globe.
The signatories recognize that they can also create new challenges, specifically regarding the integration of these services into limited public space and the impact on the safety of other road users. However, they are convinced that a more collaborative public-private approach to regulating micromobility is needed to effectively address cities’ unique concerns while allowing them to benefit from the full potential of micromobility.
“Of course, micromobility needs to be properly regulated to make good use of scarce public space and to guarantee road safety,” added Barbara Stoll of CCC. “Developing smart regulations with civil society and operators is the way to go; de facto bans would only deprive citizens of an important mobility option whilst doing nothing to tackle the main problem in cities: polluting cars.”
Marine Vignat-Cerasa, Co-Chair of Micro Mobility for Europe adds “The threat of climate change is too great for us to continue marginalizing these services–instead, cities should embrace shared e-bikes and e-scooters by crafting policies that encourage their use while finding solutions to limit negative externalities in the public right of way. This includes building robust infrastructure like protected bike lane networks, as well as dedicated parking spaces taken from on-street car parking. As the EU, cities, civil society groups and micro mobility providers are all working towards the transition to zero-emission transportation, there is a growing need for more strategic dialogue and cooperation. Today’s joint effort with the European Parliament intergroup and the Clean Cities Campaign is a step in the right direction”
As some cities consider overly-drastic measures, including possible bans of micromobility services, MMfE, CCC and the EP Urban Intergroup highlight the importance of collaborative and constructive approaches to regulating micromobility between cities and private operators. The letter denounces the temptation to ban these services, which will simply curtail micromobility benefits and jeopardize the EU and cities goals to decarbonize transportation.