Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Institute for Mobility at the University of St. Gallen recently released the article “Putting Micromobility at the Center of Urban Mobility,” which previews the findings from a new survey of 11,000 consumers across 23 cities in 10 countries. The article examines consumers’ views and usage patterns for micromobility vehicles, including bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-mopeds, and it analyzes the incentives and deterrents to broader adoption.
As cities worldwide grapple with the impact of increasing vehicular traffic, micromobility has the potential to reduce congestion and pollution, while offering accessible, convenient, and affordable forms of transportation. But, according to the article, micromobility can only fully realize its potential if it is designed as part of an overall intermodal transportation system.
During the pandemic, many people saw micromobility as a safer alternative to public transportation. The recent spike in fuel prices is also increasing the attractiveness. Indeed, the global micromobility market—including the owned, shared, and subscription segments—has already reached some €90 billion. Although ownership is the biggest segment by volume, subscriptions are the fastest-growing category, with CAGR projected to exceed 30% over the next decade.
Yet, despite these impacts and its growth rate, micromobility has in many places not yet advanced from being a fad to becoming a mainstream form of transportation.
“Apart from the weather, the biggest barriers to increased use of micromobility include cost, insecure bike lane networks, inadequate connections, and limited suburban services. The cities that address these obstacles the fastest and best will make micromobility much more attractive for commuters—and, thus, become more attractive places for employers and their employees,” said Nikolaus Lang, a BCG managing director and senior partner, and co-author of the article.
The survey revealed that offering bundled options—combining micromobility transportation options with public transit—could likely increase use considerably. Consumers surveyed indicated that they would be willing to pay 22% to 25% more (a weighted average increase) for different bundled offerings.
Co-author Andreas Herrmann, Director of the Institute for Mobility at the University of St. Gallen, said, “There is no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for Amsterdam won’t necessarily be right for Boston or Berlin. Moving micromobility to the mainstream over the next few years requires city planners and micromobility operators to work together to create the right incentives.”
At scale, not all micromobility modes deliver equal benefit, and promoting micromobility without considering the totality of impacts can have a negative effect on the environment. “Integration is key, and technology and understanding usage patterns will be at the heart of this,” added Herrmann.