When looking for analyzes and releases on the micromobility scenario, specifically on scooter cases in large cities around the world, I come across apparently contradictory news. In Brazil, Uber announced in March the start of scooter rental operations in São Paulo capital – after a trial period in Santos, on the coast of São Paulo, at the end of 2019. Shortly thereafter, in July, Grow (created from merger of Grin and Yellow) requested judicial recovery, after months of crisis and withdrawal of units.
After all, did the scooters work or will they disappear from circulation? This doubt “torments” professionals and mobility enthusiasts, and it does not seem to have a simple answer. It is necessary to analyze case by case. Starting in Europe, where the usual cases usually arise when it comes to mobility – see shared bicycles, always associated with cities like Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
In 2018, when the Smart Mobility Congress was still part of the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Seat (a VW / AUDI group company) presented a model (electric sedan, four doors) that came with a scooter in the trunk, as a stimulus for the car to be parked outside the central region, reducing vehicle traffic in a naturally chaotic area. Another advantage would be free parking spaces or cheaper parking, which are common outside the central area.
In addition, the scooter can be recharged with a socket inside the trunk of the electric car. The idea seems to have caught on, as the company now plans to launch its own scooters and scooters. In 2019, the Smart Mobility Congress grew so much that it started to occupy an exclusive pavilion: the world of electromobility meets there, including practical classes to learn how to ride a scooter more safely.
Visiting Lisbon in 2019, our iCities team noticed not only the “invasion” of electric scooters, but the consolidation of the modal in the Portuguese capital. So much so that, in May of that year, the local authorities made the decision to transform 1,600 car spaces into spaces for scooters and bicycles, after prohibiting their circulation on the sidewalks. “In less than a year, it became clear that city halls did not make enough spaces for bicycles and now for scooters,” said Pedro Homem de Gouveia, accessibility coordinator for the City of Lisbon, visiting São Paulo on the occasion of the 1st Summit of Safety and Coexistence in Micromobility.