PBSC’s European presence: A bike-share success story!November 06, 2023 — PBSC insights
From MaaS to Mobility Hubs, electric bikes, and everything beyond - here are the 5 top trends in the world of micromobility for 2022 and 2023.
Micromobility Paves the Way for the Future of City Transportation Post-Covid
2021 was a tremendous year for micromobility, with world leaders sparking new discussions around global sustainability and modes of transportation. Increased shared micromobility and Covid’s impact on public transport and urban commutes sparked a powerful momentum, where cities across the world started to look at emerging trends around bike sharing, scooter-share, and especially electric-powered vehicles.
Everything from where and how to park bikes to how cities can encourage cyclists with new infrastructure, the excitement around e-bikes, and much more, made regular headlines. The surge of popularity around these topics begs the question – what can we expect from the micromobility market in 2022, 2023 and going forward?
At PBSC Urban Solutions, we believe shared micromobility is the future of sustainable city transportation. And as pioneers of the bike share movement, our passion for bike share and creating smart cities inspires us to roll out systems globally while expanding our proven expertise and technologies into a new generation of micromobility offerings (including e-bikes, a multimodal solution, and a larger push into mobility as a service). Tomorrow’s world starts today, so we’ve been keeping our eyes on 2022’s hottest urban mobility trends — especially since PBSC is already deploying solutions that bring these trends to life!
What is Micromobility in 2022 & What’s its Impact?
Before we jump in, let’s take a quick step back and answer the question: What exactly is micromobility and what’s its impact? As the term “micro” suggests, it’s all about smaller, eco-friendly vehicles that run on sustainable electricity (such as shared e-bikes) or simply rely on people (such as pedaling on bikes, for example). With increasing urbanization, micromobility offers cities an eco-friendly alternative to travelling by car. For happy, healthy cities and city-dwellers, sustainable transit is the way. Here, then, are 5 micromobility trends for 2022 and beyond:
1) Mobility Hubs
Mobility hubs in urban areas propose easy, attractive alternatives to personal cars by combining several access points to various modes of city transport. Mobility hubs integrate shared micromobility (such as bike share and scooter-share) with public transit, access to cycling routes, EV charging, and even car-share pick-up/drop-off points. When well-planned and carefully integrated into dense urban parts of major cities, the vision behind mobility hubs acts as a driving force for reducing traffic congestion, greenhouse gases, and encouraging greater social equity by ensuring every commuter has access to their choice of transportation, regardless of whether or not they own a car.
As industry leaders in urban shared mobility, we create and implement sustainable micromobility solutions that meet each city’s unique needs and integrate with their evolving infrastructures. Realizing this vision involves developing technologies and solutions that fit right into a city’s transit infrastructure, which, more and more, will include its existing mobility hubs. This brings us to the next big trend in micromobility…
2) Multimodal Docking and Charging
The idea behind multimodality in shared micromobility is to place stations in key urban areas, near the metro, train, and other important intersections throughout the city. Multimodal stations integrated into mobility hubs for public transit facilitate the use of several forms of alternative and sustainable transport for people going to work, to school, to see friends, or do groceries. At each one of these points, people can grab a bike, take a bus, or have access to a cycling path. Ease and accessibility have always been and will continue to be fundamental in encouraging people to opt away from personal automobiles and adopt sustainable city transportation systems.
PBSC’s Multimodal docking and charging stations function to create easy access to daily commuters via multi-functional mobility hubs. Already used by our bikes, the technology behind PBSC’s multimodal solution can be adapted to any type of two-wheeled vehicle in cites, to dock and charge them with ease between trips.
Welcoming bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, and with the possibility of EV (electric vehicle) charging, PBSC’s customizable Smart Stations are now even smarter. Our multimodal docking and charging Smart Stations feature state-of-the-art technology (created by PBSC’s expert engineers) that invites multiple shared micromobility operators in a city to securely dock and charge several types of bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters in the same station. This gives users smooth access to diverse transit options to better plan and complete their trips, while also allowing cities to cleanly manage multiple micromobility operations. By using this smart technology, the city’s system operators will also have access to crucial data on ridership and when bikes need rebalancing or kiosks need to be updated.
3) MaaS (mobility as a service)
As smart cities reimagine public transit to include shared micromobility systems, more and more transit apps reflect the exciting emergence of MaaS (mobility as a service). Users need one convenient app to access multiple ways to plan trips and commutes with ease, from bus routes to bike rentals, and we’re here to make that happen. PBSC’s bike share systems feature innovative technology that can swiftly integrate with a city’s public transit app! In cities like Montreal, Toronto and Barcelona, among others, users can even locate bikes and stations using Google Maps.
4) Electric Bikes
From Montreal to Monaco, Dubai to Barcelona, Valence to Rio de Janeiro, more and more cosmopolitan cities are integrating pedal-assisted electric bikes into their fleets with great success: Out of the 500 million trips taken worldwide on PBSC bikes until today, 14 million were on e-bikes, and 8000 of our E-FIT and BOOST e-bikes are circulating in 15 cities throughout the world.
It’s easy to see why electric bicycles are becoming so popular when you think about it. Perfect for commutes (even in hot weather and hilly terrain), e-bikes allow locals and tourists to get around a city without breaking a sweat or depending on a car. Urbanites can travel longer distances quickly and effortlessly. The best part? Even though pedal-assist bikes might feel like riding to your destination is a breeze, you still get your daily dosage of exercise.
5) Solar Charging
Solar-powered mobility is a trending industry focus. After all, think about the benefits of climate-neutral, solar-powered shared micromobility options, whether for commuting to work, exploring new neighborhoods, or popping to the grocer. In the bike share market, that’s where solar-powered e-bike systems come in.
That’s just one reason we’re delighted with the success of our pilot project in beautiful Aspen, Colorado, in partnership with WE-cycle and Skyhook Solar, where PBSC’s solar-powered Smart Stations and 25 of our perky, efficient E-FIT bikes were added to the network (which since 2013 has also featured our ICONIC bikes). Operated by WE-cycle, the system just finished its first year of completely solar-powered charging! In Aspen’s hilly landscapes, e-bikes are ideal examples of sustainable mobility that bring smiles to everyone’s faces!
To learn more about micromobility trends, our actions towards sustainable development, PBSC’s latest technologies, news on smart cities, or to get more industry tips and updates on upcoming events, sign up for the PBSC newsletter today.
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