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“Growing Shared Micromobility – Connecting peoples & places” 

It’s with great pleasure that PBSC Urban Solution participated and sponsored the NABSA 2023 Conference, held in Hamilton and Toronto, Canada. Hosted annually by the North American Bike and Scooter Share Association, this year's theme was "Growing shared micromobility: connecting people and places''. This was an opportunity for PBSC to meet many of its partners and discuss the future of shared micromobility.

Mark Roberts, co-head of PBSC, took part in a panel alongside some of the industry's leading experts on the theme "Scaling Systems for Impact: Equipment, Electrification and Connectivity".

Here are the highlights of the panel discussion:

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Equipment, service and infrastructure

For bike-sharing systems to have a significant positive impact on cities, people and our planet, experts settled on three key pillars.

The first pillar focuses on the equipment. Sturdy materials, intuitive, modern technologies and reliable, affordable service all contribute to improve the user experience and increase loyalty. This is particularly true for BIXI, which has seen an increase in membership by improving its digital service. The BIXI mobile app has over 40,000 daily users, and 82% of all trips taken in Montreal start from the app. In addition, by lowering the monthly subscription price, BIXI has seen a drastic increase in its members. 

To foster and promote the use of shared micromobility, cities need to invest in appropriate infrastructure, such as bike lanes. This not only makes cycling safer, but also increases the use of bike sharing.

WR_4822.jpg (611 KB)Electrification 

The second major lever is the electrification of bike-sharing systems. Integrating electric bikes into bike-sharing fleets can be a game-changer. E-bikes are helping to break down the barriers that previously prevented some people from cycling. Barriers such as travel distance, physical condition among others, making active mobility accessible to a wider range of people.

The implementation of electric charging stations is beneficial for operators, as it facilitates and optimizes fleet management. Battery swapping is no longer necessary, limiting operators' daily journeys to carry out this operation, which considerably reduces carbon emissions. One good example is Pittsburgh's bike-sharing system, POGOH, which is equipped with PBSC smart charging stations that automatically and rapidly recharge the electric fleet at the station.

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According to the specialists, improving the connectivity of bike-sharing systems is vital. One way of doing this is to rethink the location of stations. By being strategically located close to bus, metro and train stops, they help facilitate people's journeys, offering them a first- and last-mile option. The system also needs to be accessible to all, by deploying stations in the most remote areas of cities. Guadalajara's MiBici is a perfect example of this, as the system's stations have been strategically placed to serve the city's most remote neighborhoods. 

Connectivity also means developing partnerships between cities, operators and public transport companies, and in some cases even with sponsors.  Not only does this make it possible to develop a solution that is integrated with the city's public transport and infrastructure, but it also provides funding for the bike-sharing system. Bike Share Toronto, for example, has established a partnership with Tangerine Bank to finance a part of its solution.

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Shaping a better future with bike-sharing 

Healthy, eco-friendly and cost-effective, bike-sharing is already having a major positive impact on people and the planet. Developed on a larger scale, with greater investment and optimal cooperation between partners and cities, this impact can only be increased. PBSC solutions around the world are the perfect example of the positive impact bike-sharing can have on cities, residents and operators. 

We were delighted to take part in the discussions at the annual conference, and would like to thank NABSA for organizing this event. We look forward to seeing you next year, in Philadelphia, for the 2024 edition of NABSA!

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