Get used to the word “micromobility” as you will likely be hearing it quite often in the years ahead. Tourist destinations and dense urban cities are using micromobilities to solve issues created by the seemingly endless number of automobiles on the roads. If everything works out as planned, micromobilities just might solve the first mile/last mile challenge.
Furthermore, urban mobility is also quite interesting to those who do not work in the tourism industry. The bottom line is the world is becoming that much more congested, polluted, and crowded— meaning high-tech, green travel solutions are necessary. Enter micromobilities.
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An Explanation of Micromobilities
Micromobilities do not yet have a concrete definition. However, as of now, members of the tech and academic communities are referring to cycling along with other rapidly growing mobility forms that do not use motors as micromobility. E-bikes, short for electronic bikes, have quickly become of the most rapidly expanding mobilities. E-scooter use is also on the rise, reducing the number of households that are reliant on automobiles, ultimately making them that much more flexible, green, and economically efficient.
Though e-bikes and e-scooters cannot be categorized as non-motorized vehicles, they are certainly a more environmentally friendly alternative to automobiles. The bottom line is auto trips are worsening congestion, air pollution issues and stress, ultimately necessitating micromobility.
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Micromobility in the Context of Tourism
The rise of micromobilities is certainly helping the travel industry as few people have their own form of transportation when on vacation or when traveling for business. Though it is possible to grab a ride with a rideshare vehicle, bike sharing is becoming particularly popular. Docked models in which the bicycle must be returned to a specific location and also the dockless variety in which the bike can be used in all locations are both quite popular. It is interesting to note the number of traditional bikes available at tourist destinations is decreasing while the number of e-bikes and e-scooters continues to increase.
Micromobility Implementation is Inherently Challenging
Micromobilities are not guaranteed to solve the tourist mobility issue. There is the question of special destination coverage for unique modes of transportation. In other words, there needs to be space created for micromobilities. The typical infrastructure is designed for vehicles or walkers rather than bike riders and others using micromobilities. The overarching goal is for cities to be designed or redesigned with micromobility squarely in mind.
Instead of making it illegal to ride e-scooters on the roads and the pavement, cities will have to accept the fact that they are essential for the efficient flow of traffic and alter their laws and rules in accordance with this new viewpoint on urban design.
In the end, the success of micromobilities might ultimately be tied to the progress made by civil transportation specialists, government officials, and urban planners. Locales with micromobilities will find their residents and visitors have that many more mobility options, less congestion, and more efficient traffic flow.
As long as the production of micromobilities remains green, resulting in minimal carbon production when manufacturing such small transportation vehicles, they will likely have staying power. There is certainly a challenge in convincing car drivers to ride bikes and scooters, yet most people are willing to consider using a micromobility vehicle for transportation as long as they are in good health. It might not be long before cities start implementing more car-free lanes and spaces to account for the ever-growing number of micromobilities that are changing transportation as we know it.