Charging ahead on micromobility policy

October 01, 2022

By Noa Banayan, Sam Herr and Leanne Kaplan

Editor’s note: This text was first published online by PeopleForBikes on Sept. 21 and is shared in The Bike Lane with permission.

Policymakers across the local, state and federal levels are increasingly looking at investments in micromobility projects to connect individuals and communities to jobs and daily needs, reduce congestion and emissions and support main-street economies. Micromobility — from personally owned bikes, e-bikes and scooters to shared systems and a growing number of new technologies that fit in between — benefits all Americans by replacing short car trips and offering first/last mile transit solutions. To ensure this rightfully placed interest meets the highest need with the greatest reach, we established a set of detailed principles and guidance for policymakers on micromobility investments. 

Early in 2022, our respective organizations — PeopleForBikes, NABSA and NUMO — joined forces as members of the CHARGE Coalition, an umbrella group advancing “smart policy to electrify America’s transportation system.” Our goal was to organize the coalition’s working group focused on micromobility around a set of principles that complemented other sectors of the transportation system, including public transit, electric vehicle infrastructure and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. 

Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act and other recent transfusions of infrastructure funding, cities and states have a unique, untackled opportunity to invest in connected and transformative micromobility projects, studies, infrastructure and incentives. The principles cover high-level concepts critical to ensuring success in a wide range of micromobility projects, including electrifying bike and scooter share fleets, connecting bike infrastructure to transit and addressing the growing need for secure storage and charging in urban, residential and commercial areas for electric micromobility. 

The micromobility principles center equitable mobility as a right and an unmet need for a majority of Americans, especially those from low-income communities and historically disinvested communities. 

The goal of these principles is to ensure the highest level of success for a new era of transportation investments that center people-focused mobility, the replacement of short car trips as the largest source of transportation emissions and a more connected and equitable transportation system. 

Join us for our upcoming webinar, Charging Ahead for Micromobility, on the opportunities for policy and practice in micromobility on September 30, 2022, at 12:30 p.m. ET. 

Moderated by NABSA’s Sam Herr, hear from experts and leaders in the field, including:

  • — Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus
  • — Dr. Jennifer Dill, professor and director of the Transportation Research & Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University
  • — Caroline Samponaro, vice president, head of micromobility & transit public policy at Lyft
  • — Harriet Tregoning, director of the New Urban Mobility alliance (NUMO)

Noa Banayan is the director of federal affairs, PeopleFor Bikes.

Sam Herr is the executive director, North American Bikeshare and Scootershare Association (NABSA).

Leanne Kaplan is the alliance and police manager, New Urban Mobility alliance (NUMO).

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