On the Rebound: USA Micromobility Ridership Continues to Climb

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According to a recent report from the National Association of City Transportation Officials, bike and scooter share system ridership across the nation has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels by 2022.

Since the pandemic era slump, rent-to-ride bikes and scooters have seen a resurgence, with some of the most heavy use in big cities.

According to a recent report by the National Association of City Transportation Officials ( NACTO ), there will be 113 million riders on shared micromobility in the United States in 2022, an increase from the 112 million rides in that year.

2019 ridership has not yet reached the 136 million complete sharable bike and scooter trips in the United States. These figures do not include trips taken by specific cyclists on their personal bikes or personal scooters; rather, they simply reflect the ridership of devices used as a part of an overall network.

Shared micromobility programs are becoming more well-liked and essential components of the transportation system in cities across the U.S. and Canada,  These initiatives can support the advancement of city objectives like reducing traffic, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and giving people more options for getting where they need to go.”

As the industry continues to develop, the report also reveals some distinct trends. When they flooded city streets five or six years ago, electric scooters, a quirky mode of transportation that seemed to make an instantaneous impression, have seen declining ridership. Cost may be a factor in this. According to the NACTO report, scooters are typically more expensive than traditional pedal bikes and e-bikes. The average cost for a 1.5-mile trip on an e-scooter in North America was$ 6.50 in 2022, assuming the trip was purely pay-per-ride and not included in the membership plan. This is comparable to$ 5.50 for an electric bike or$ 3.90 for a regular bike.

According to the study, micromobility initiatives that ran as some sort of public-private partnership with a city were the most effective. These were allowed to manage expenses while also making sure the devices were distributed fairly.

These collaborations frequently result in stronger infrastructure construction, which is thought to be a major factor in the rise in micromobility use. About 100 miles of fresh bike lanes have been built in Austin, Texas, since 2018. Infrastructure is important, according to advocates.

” Policymakers will widen the highways, thinking that will solve the traffic problem, but it will only increase demand.” Therefore, if we build bike lanes, the demand will come, said Heather House, manager of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Carbon-Free Transportation program, during a panel at the Micromobility America conference last month in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Shifting 25 % of short vehicle trips across the 10 most populous cities could result in a 30 % reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT ), or removing 388,000 cars from the roads, and” serious savings for the individuals as well.” If you don’t have safe, connected bike lanes, it’s going to be difficult to get where you want to go.

Obviously, riders ‘ attention seems to be focused on E-bikes. According to the NACTO report, bike-share systems are rapidly adding e-bikes to their fleets, with trips on these bikes rising 38 percent between 2021 and 2022 in the U.S. and Canada. Some of the largest cities, including New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, saw 70 percent of station-based bike-share trips on energy bikes, which is hardly surprising given the terrain in those cities.

Only 10 cities in North America were responsible for 90 % of station-based e-bike trips, with New York, Montreal, Chicago, Toronto, and Boston rounding out the top five, demonstrating how well-liked this mode of transportation is in major cities.

Viktor Musil

Victor Musil, pen name for Edouard Py, advocates for inclusive, people-centered city development. His work underscores the importance of ethical considerations and equitable access, shaping the discourse on urban innovation worldwide.

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