ITE Journal - February 2020 - 48

we see higher pick up of our e-bikes in many underserved areas-
areas that are oftentimes further from the center, places that are
harder to get to by definition."
He also says having an electric bike means that you don't have
to pedal as hard, making it easier to travel to a place that is further
from the city center no matter your level of physical fitness. "It's
also more reliable because you can just open your phone and you
know exactly when and where a bike is available, and that is really
helpful in some of these [hard-to-reach] places," Hughes says.
Uber and JUMP also collaborate with community outreach
groups to educate users at the ground-level. They've partnered
with entities like Washington Area Bike Association (WABA) in
Washington, DC to support community education around e-bikes
and e-scooters.
JUMP also has payment programs that allow for people to
use options like the PayNearMe app in lieu of a traditional bank
option, such as a debit or credit card. And if people don't have a
smartphone, JUMP bikes and e-scooters can be unlocked with a
text message. "Those options are 100 percent aimed at equity," he
says. "An overall theme here is trying to make as many options
available to as many people as possible."

the vendors-it even has dedicated staff who work directly with
the providers-and keeps them abreast of any changes to the
regulations. The city has also remained flexible on the rules as
new needs, opportunities, and challenges arise. "It's been pretty
collaborative," Stefan notes. "We do meet with the companies each
month, and talk with them practically daily. We also encourage the
public to be in direct contact with the companies because that's the
fastest way to get issues resolved."
From the beginning, Santa Monica's regulations stated the
maximum amount of e-bikes and e-scooters to be made available
each morning, and in which parts of the city. Stefan and her team
looked at data to make those determinations and ensure that it was
an equitable distribution. "We have a publicly owned bike-share
system that gave us a dashboard, for the last four years, of where
people were using [the bikes]; we knew that the downtown and
the beach areas were really heavy-demand areas," she says. "So we
could already anticipate which areas would get a disproportionate
number of vehicles. And so we established this rule on the first go
round that one-third-max-of vehicles would be available in the
downtown and beach areas."

Smaller cities, like Santa Monica, CA, USA-one of the first
cities in the United States to deploy e-scooters and e-bikes-are
focused on making micromobility deployments more equitable,
especially for low-income users and areas of the city underserved
by transportation.
As corporate home to e-scooter operator Bird, the city was
approached by CEO Travis VanderZanden in 2017 about e-scooter
deployment. Francie Stefan (M), chief mobility officer and assistant
director of planning for Santa Monica, tells ITE Journal her team
saw an opportunity to bring in shared micromobility providers and
create rules flexible enough to keep pace with the budding industry.
"When Travis VanderZanden approached us and said he wanted
to run this type of service in the city, we were open to innovation
around this topic," Stefan says. "Since creating a 'new model of
mobility' is a city priority, we said, 'We'd be willing to work with you
on how this might be tested out in our city.'"
Santa Monica, which has operated its own bike-share program
called the Breeze Bike System for several years, conducted a pilot
program in 2018 for micromobility providers. The project was
greenlit by the city council, which also approves the administrative
regulations governing shared mobility providers. Four operators of
e-bikes and e-scooters were allowed in the city as a result the initial
competitive procurement process: Bird, JUMP, Lime, and Lyft. 
Stefan says shared mobility has enjoyed high ridership over
the last few years in Santa Monica. The city works closely with
48

Fe bruar y 2020

ite j ou rn al

Juan Llauro / Shutterstock.com

Santa Monica, CA - Using Data and Policy to Create
More Equitable Options

Micromobility options like e-bikes and e-scooters are in the highest
demand in beach and downtown areas in Santa Monica, CA, USA.
Given the heavy traffic in those regions, however, Stefan
explains that the vehicles naturally tend to gravitate toward
the beach and downtown areas. Now that the city is planning a
second pilot program and a new procurement process for shared
mobility providers, Santa Monica is taking an even more deliberate
approach to spreading out the vehicles in a more equitable way. (As
of press time, the mobility division at Santa Monica had a council
meeting planned for January 28, 2020 to discuss the regulations
and proposals of the new pilot program.)


http://www.Shutterstock.com

ITE Journal - February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - February 2020

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