After-lockdown period to boost e-scooters’ popularity
According to experts and shared-mobility companies, e-scooters are said to become the go-to mobility solution in the city when the lockdown measures are lifted. These machines allow citizens to move about without worrying about social distancing, plus they can use the new converted cycling paths.
When the lockdown finally lifts, cities and their inhabitants will face a mobility problem. On the one hand, people are asked to respect the social distancing measures, but, on the other hand, authorities worry that the use of cars could create important congestion problems.
For that reason, the Brussels government has decided to create 40 km of ‘new’ cycling paths by reserving one driving lane on each of its major axes to two or three-wheelers. Paris is doing the same, and so are Montpellier and Lille.
Even before the health crisis, e-scooters were gaining in popularity. In France, their sales increased by 105% in 2019, with 478 000 units in total. According to experts, e-scooter sales should overtake those of electric bicycles this year.
“There was a strong drop with the lockdown, but at the same time, we sense that a good number of French people are looking for different mobility solutions,” notes Jean Ambert.
It’s shared mobility time
In Paris, shared mobility operators are preparing to restart their activity, starting from May 11h. Jump will put its 5 000 bicycles back on the streets, and Lime will do the same with its 7 700 scooters. Other companies such as Tier, Dott, or Voi are also working on it.
All operators are betting on the resurgence of scooters and bicycles due to the distrust worried citizens might have regarding public transport. Indeed, it is difficult to keep social distances on a crowded bus. Vélib, the city of Paris’ shared bicycles company, is planning on 140 000 rents per day in the after-lockdown period; four times what they are today.
To reassure clients, shared-mobility companies are implementing new health protocols. “All bicycles will be sanitized before being put back into service on May 11th. Then they will be cleaned every day with anti-bacterial spray,” ensures Jump.