Coming Full Circle: Managing Micromobility As Transit

  • Date: 03/28/2024

Micromobility in its modern form was born in the late 1990s and early 2000s as publicly-funded and procured bikeshare implemented by cities, predominantly in Europe. The first docked systems were in Portsmouth, Rennes, Oslo, Vienna, and Lyon and typically featured integration with transit smart cards and docked bikeshare stations. Since then, over 1000 docked bikeshare systems have proliferated around the world, with the largest systems in Asia and Europe.

The challenge for most micromobility companies (and in fact any company that delivers transportation-as-a-service — from airlines to Uber and Lyft), is that they struggle to deliver these services profitably. Nearly every major airline at some point in time has filed for bankruptcy in order to restructure. The micromobility operator landscape has thinned significantly, and only a few players remain in the US and Europe.

In order to achieve the societal benefits that micromobility has the potential to provide, in addition to regulating micromobility, cities should consider subsidizing these services. Modern, privatized micromobility, similar to the docked bikeshare systems that cities actively purchased in the 1990s to 2000s, offers an additional alternative for citizens to get around without a car. When combined with high frequency transit and other shared services, micromobility has the potential to reduce vehicle ownership, transportation emissions, and congestion.

Open Article


We’d love to hear from you!

Have more mobility news that we should be reading and sharing? Let us know! Reach out to Sage Kashner (

Skip to toolbar