- Urban Mobility
- Data Analytics
- smart cities
New Micromobility Data Sharing Tools Can Improve Outcomes for Cities
In the first few years of shared electric kick (e-kick) scooters hitting the streets, many cities have struggled to manage the safety and infrastructure issues that these vehicles can pose. Many cities are also unclear about how these services could be impacting underserved communities. However, recent developments in data sharing are now enabling cities to measure and track progress toward their internal mobility goals around safety, sustainability, and equity.
New Data Tool Is a Key Resource for Cities
In August 2020, the New Urban Mobility Alliance (NUMO) launched a micromobility data tool that enables cities to use evaluation metrics to achieve their desired policy outcomes. According to Smart Cities Dive, the tool was developed with over 50 partners, "including city governments, micromobility companies such as Bird and Lyft, and data management companies such as Populus." The platform also shows cities what data they need to track to obtain general usage information such as who is using the service, where, and how often. Cities can use the NUMO tool to determine what data they need to improve outcomes in the following areas and critical use cases:
- Safety concerns with infrastructure (determining where dedicated, protected spaces for micromobility use and parking are needed); vehicle condition (percentage of deployed vehicles in good working condition); education (surveys to determine users’ understanding of micromobility regulations); and observation and enforcement (tracking safety and improper parking incidents).
- Sustainability issues related to energy consumption (fleetwide average kilowatt-hours per passenger mile and percentage of trips that replaced other transport modes); operations (reducing impacts related to collecting, redistributing, and recharging vehicles); and lifespan (average lifespan by vehicle model and number of vehicles stolen or lost).
- Equity matters such as access to necessities (number of grocery stores, healthcare and education facilities, jobs, and core government services accessible in a 30-minute micromobility ride); access to platforms (ability of users to get timely and accurate information, afford, and easily access micromobility services); and access to vehicles (residents being able to find and access a micromobility vehicle within an x-minute walk).
Suppliers Should Offer Data and Analytics Services
Several micromobility sharing companies are capitalizing on the data sharing trend by offering specialized analytics and platform services to cities. For example, e-kick scooter sharing operator Voi Technology offers partner cities its City Data Dashboard, which provides current and historical vehicle trip data that can be integrated into city traffic management systems. Helbiz offers a Mobility Analytics platform that provides cities with daily operations metrics and fleet usage, tracking of missing vehicles, and suggested deployment areas.
Suppliers may be faced with little choice about data sharing, as many cities (e.g., Los Angeles) now require it to obtain permits. As new data sharing standards are developed and the practice of exchanging fleet data for city permits becomes more common, suppliers that proactively develop analytics tools and platforms that help cities improve outcomes in their priority areas should be better positioned to win new contracts.