Whether it’s because of COVID or the fact it was gaining popularity before the pandemic, people are riding again, and micromobility is proving itself to be a valued means of transportation.
The benefits of micromobility
Micromobility is a good fit for communities across the country during COVID because riders can easily practice social distancing In some areas, micromobility devices like electric scooter and moped, have proved to be an effective option for essential workers trough the shared-mobility services.
The company Bird that operates shared electric scooters, for example, offered healthcare workers and emergency personnel free rides in Portland. E-bikes and e-scooters are also used for deliveries.
Usage is expected to increase as governments invest in safety and infrastructure to protect riders and help them commuter more efficiently. Policies are being adopted across the country, and stations are being set up in different locations for users.
Further, micromobility providers are making transportation more accessible through partnerships and affordable pricing. All of these benefits add up to micromobility, becoming a valued and welcomed option for commuters.
The first big trend that has occurred is that micromobility is earning some of the shares of people who are switching from public transportation. Gotcha said its e-scooters, e-bikes, and pedal bikes had a big jump in unique riders, average trip length, and rides in the 35 cities where it operates. Syracuse, N.Y. is up more than 2,880 percent, from January to May, for example.
Micromobility is not just benefitting from cautious public transportation riders. Companies that provide shared-mobility solutions like Spin reports that its ridership in San Francisco was being used as a complement to public transportation before the pandemic. Riders used Spin bikes for the first and last-mile sections of their commutes. Now, people have used bikes for increased trips to pharmacies and restaurants.
Mobility share systems are initiating new access options that can reduce the cost of transportation and make the commute more convenient and flexible.
The future? How micro-mobility will fare is unknown, but we know it’s becoming more popular every day. There’s evidence Europeans are adopting it at a high rate and abandoning some previous forms of transportation.
Whether that happens here with parking lots filling with e-scooters and e-bikes as companies open their offices remains to be seen. But it will be interesting to watch the micro-mobility continued growth, especially now that it appears to have received a boost from the pandemic.
How commuter benefits can help
As your company opens its offices back up, remember that commuter benefits are available to offset the cost of public transportation and some forms of parking. Employees can save up to 40 percent off the cost of their commute by setting money aside in the paychecks tax-free. Meanwhile, employers save money because of a decrease in payroll taxes. For a company with 50 employees participating for 12 months in the program, that means more than $24,000 in savings on payroll taxes.