Collaboration between micromobility and public transport can benefit cities

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A joint initiative between a leading e-scooter provider and a rail operator has boosted use of public transport in Stuttgart, Germany. The collaboration between Voi and S-Bahn Stuttgart involved the integration of Voi app and the Mobility Stuttgart app, as well as improvements to organized parking in a central station. As a result, ticket sales in the Mobility Stuttgart App from Voi users increased by 35%.

The research was published to coincide with a symposium on the 15-Minute City philosophy during which academics, transport operators, city mayors and other experts discussed how cities might improve if everything could be reached within 15 minutes. The 15-Minute City concept, first described by leading academic Carlos Moreno, proposes that micromobility and public transport, working together, have the power to unlock the true potential of cities; to turn them into vibrant places to live and work, where everything you need can be reached within a quarter of an hour.

“For too long we have accepted that cities will be noisy, polluted and draining places but there is no need to continue with the status quo,” says Moreno, who is scientific director of the ETI Chair at the Sorbonne Panthéon University, IAE Paris, as well as the creator of the 15-Minute City concept. “The time is now to rethink and design our cities to put people first and the answer is the 15-Minute City. By prioritising walking, scooting and cycling, we can transform cities into liveable places. This change is not only necessary for our wellbeing but also for the planet. I’m glad that Voi is interested in becoming a major player in micromobility for the 15-Minute City. If we want to make urban life healthier and more flexible, we need to ensure that all citizens are empowered and informed in this transformation and discussions like this are needed to achieve real change.”

“The reality is that cars still carry a large part of the daily traffic in our cities but we need to reduce our reliance on them and create cities where we can enjoy our lives, reach all important services and breathe more easily,” adds Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology. “We think micromobility is the key to unlocking the vision of 15 minute cities and we want to do everything we can to make that transition happen.”

The results of the pilot programme, which was carried out in Stuttgart in the second half of 2020 concluded that that:

  • The partnership between Voi and S-Bahn Stuttgart led to at least a 35% increase in rail tickets purchased by Voi users terminating at the Bad Cannstatt station, compared to the rest of the city of Stuttgart.
  • The number of last-mile Voi trips increased by more than 250% in the Bad Cannstatt station after parking racks were installed.
  • Integrating the Mobility Stuttgart and Voi apps increased the use of micromobility in the last mile, which may translate into a reduction of car trips.

The research suggests that there is a positive correlation between commuting by rail and e-scooters, which can provide the last-mile mode. The findings also suggest that public transport accessibility is improved, due to a combination of the physical, digital and commercial integrations that Voi made with S-Bahn Stuttgart and Mobimeo, a MaaS platform provider founded by Deutsche Bahn, as the technology partner.

Voi’s own research has made similar findings, with 42% of users saying they combine their e-scooter trip with public transport, and only 11% with private cars. This suggests that shared e-scooters may contribute to the reduction of vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT), meaning that the vehicles help to reduce congestion and pollution.

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Lauren is acting associate editor for Traffic Technology International and freelance journalist. Over the past 15 years, she has worked on a wide variety of B2B publications and websites, including a stint as deputy editor of Traffic Technology International from 2014-2016. She has a degree in English from the University of Exeter. Lauren is mum two busy little girls. She is always in demand!