BOSTON—Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, and the University of St. Gallen announced today the release of the article “Putting Micromobility at the Center of Urban Mobility,” which previews the findings from a new survey of 11,000 consumers across 23 cities in 10 countries. The article examines consumers’ views and usage patterns for micromobility vehicles, including bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-mopeds, and it analyzes the incentives and deterrents to broader adoption.
As cities worldwide grapple with the impact of increasing vehicular traffic, micromobility has the potential to reduce congestion and pollution, while offering accessible, convenient, and affordable forms of transportation. But, according to the article, micromobility can only fully realize its potential if it is designed as part of an overall intermodal transportation system.
During the pandemic, many people saw micromobility as a safer alternative to public transportation. The recent spike in fuel prices is also increasing the attractiveness. Indeed, the size of the global micromobility market—including bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-mopeds and covering the owned, shared, and subscription segments—has already reached almost €100 billion. Although ownership is the biggest segment by volume, subscriptions are the fastest-growing category, with CAGR projected to exceed 30% over the next decade.
Yet, despite these impacts and its growth rate, micromobility has in many places not yet advanced from being a fad to becoming a mainstream form of transportation.
“Apart from the weather, the biggest barriers to increased use of micromobility include cost, insecure bike lane networks, inadequate connections, and limited suburban services. The cities that address these obstacles the fastest and best will make micromobility much more attractive for commuters—and, thus, become more attractive places for employers and their employees,” said Nikolaus Lang, a BCG managing director and senior partner, and coauthor of the article.
The survey revealed that offering bundled options—combining micromobility transportation options with public transit—could likely increase use considerably. Consumers surveyed indicated that they would be willing to pay 22% to 25% more (a weighted average increase) for different bundled offerings.
Coauthor Andreas Herrmann, director of the Institute for Mobility at the University of St. Gallen, said, “There is no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for Amsterdam won’t necessarily be right for Boston or Berlin. Moving micromobility to the mainstream over the next few years requires city planners and micromobility operators to work together to create the right incentives.”
At scale, not all micromobility modes deliver equal benefit, and promoting micromobility without considering the totality of impacts can have a negative effect on the environment. “Integration is key, and technology and understanding usage patterns will be at the heart of this,” added Herrmann.
A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
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The University of St. Gallen (HSG) is Switzerland’s business university and one of Europe’s leading business schools. Internationality, practical relevance and an integrative view have characterized education at the HSG ever since its establishment in 1898. Today, the University educates more than 9,000 students from around 90 countries in business administration, economics, law and social sciences, international affairs and computer science. Its integrative education at the highest academic level earned the international seals of approval of the EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA accreditations.
The Institute for Mobility, one of 40 research institutes and centers at the University, builds on profound scientific expertise to investigate the future of mobility and the underlying business models from an economic perspective. The Institute follows a behavior-oriented approach that focuses on the users of mobility. Great importance is given to the transfer of scientific insights into practice, especially into industry and politics.
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