On October 1st, the most accomplished mobility and micro-mobility players from all around the world took over the stage at the Micromobility Conference in Berlin. Seasoned experts shared valuable insights and real experiences on how to create better mobility experiences. Here, we are listing our seven main takeaways from the conference.
Cities leading the way: Even though they are very heterogeneous, the represented cities agreed that it is their duty to take a leading role in establishing clear communication and policies for MSPs to guarantee safety and convenience for their citizen’s traveling needs.
Unified regulation is needed now: MSPs agreed that cities should provide unified regulations for micromobility and leave no space for interpretation or loopholes so that everyone has the same starting point. Straightforward communication also allows MSPs to analyze if that particular city is a good fit for their business and vice versa.
Different cities have different drivers: For example, San Francisco is very focused on the deployment chain, meaning that they allow only a few providers at the time to deploy their fleets. Portland, on the other hand, focuses on environmental KPIs and therefore works with providers that prove to be invested in the long lifecycle of their devices, high utilization rates, and general performance.
Data is locked in silos: Cities are asking for more transparent information from transport providers, but MSPs tend to refrain from sharing standardized data. They claim that each provider uses slightly different tech and devices for their fleets, resulting in unique data sets. Thus it seems that both parties are stuck in a cursed loop. Nevertheless, we can see some examples of collaboration between both public and private entities.
The Lisbon example: To operate in Lisbon, MSPs need to get a permit from the city itself. The only way to get it is by agreeing to use a standardized data-sharing protocol (MDS). It only took a few weeks for MSP providers to adapt to the requirements, and the city now has a unified data pool.
The Brussels example: Brussels decided to try a different tactic. Officials are establishing a new framework for micromobility as we write, and it is done by communicating closely and having constant feedback loops between cities and MSPs. Both parties express their needs, challenge each other and try to find common ground. Currently, these meetings happen on a quarterly basis but there is an intention to ease and speed up the process by digitizing it.
Cities have four areas of concern: Improving sustainability, lowering the barriers for trying new types of mobility, understanding their own network, and be the first one to lead the game, are four key challenges for cities. Regional governance is not as static as one might think: authorities learn from each other. With Paris as a recent example, other cities derived one main conclusion: an open and unregulated environment is not the right strategy for launching new types of mobility. Regulating in a situation of uncertainty (especially for mobility modes no one really knows) should not be rushed.
To sum it up, we left the conference with a strong impression that cities want to act now, but that they lack the know-how to orchestrate a holistic approach to mobility. They want to implement policies to regulate the micromobility scene and lead it in the right direction, so that it benefits both businesses and citizens. At the moment, cities need to answer questions such as data sharing, regulation implementation, digitalization, and potential middlemen needed to provide relevant technology. And finally, both cities and MSPs strongly believe that consolidation of operators will happen in cities, either due to economics or regulatory frameworks. May the battle of the streets begin.
Founded in Vilnius, Lithuania, Trafi has been revolutionizing urban mobility since 2013. Our MaaS platform is designed to run even the most complex transport systems and has been trusted by Berlin (BVG), Brussels (STIB), Portsmouth & Southampton (Solent Transport), Munich (MVG), and Zurich (SBB).
Trafi’s mission is to empower cities with state-of-the-art MaaS solution that helps to tackle their mobility challenges and to achieve ambitious sustainability objectives. Our white-label product offers all the features and components needed to launch your own-branded MaaS service. With more than 50 existing deep integrations to mobility service providers and payment facilitators, we help to reduce risk, cost, and time-to-launch for new services.