To better manage the deployment of “micro-mobility” transportation options such as scooters, three cities – Charlotte, NC; Detroit; and Omaha, NE – joined together with data analytics firm Passport to launch a joint pilot project on March 19 that aims to “maintain visibility and control over scooter deployments” as well as better manage curb space.
[Above photo by Ford Motor Co.]
“Working with Passport, we can now gather insight on how our citizens are using these new forms of mobility and be more strategic about managing scooters using supply/demand economics,” noted Mark de la Vergne, chief of mobility innovation for the city of Detroit, in a statement. “With this pilot program, we are now connected to a network of cities facing the same challenges and we can effectively work together to develop a new regulatory model that can be scaled nationally.”
“While our relationships with these cities began with mobile payments for parking, permits, and enforcement, it soon became apparent that there was much more we could do together to improve urban mobility in each city,” added Bob Youakim, Passport’s CEO. “We will continue to help each city define their needs for curb management, be it through the management of scooters, first/last mile services or the integration of new connected technologies that create a seamless relationship between city officials and residents.”
He said this joint pilot program will apply parking principles, data analysis, and a software platform to charge for scooter parking in order to balance the supply, demand, and distribution of scooters in all three cities.
Instead of capping scooter volumes or imposing flat fees, Youakim noted the program’s “methodology and technology” should allow each city to “incentivize behavior” by charging for curb space fairly across all modes of mobility.
“Just as cities charge cars to park at the curb, they can apply an existing digital parking infrastructure for scooters,” he explained.
Youakim pointed out that Passport has invested $5 million to help cities build the digital infrastructure necessary to coordinate complex urban transportation ecosystems and keep pace with technological innovation, allowing them to “more effectively work with private entities” in order to “quickly integrate new services” into their transportation networks.