In October 2018, a year after the first shared bicycles appeared in Paris, there were 15 thousand of these vehicles in the French capital. The micro-mobility boom created chaos in the city, with amassing of bicycles in the public space and vandalism, besides the precarious working conditions of its employees. “There was fear that these operators would become a threat to mobility” admitted Marion Lagadic this Friday at the Portugal Mobi Summit. Lagadic is the manager of the 6T Research project that has been studying the evolution of the scene in Paris. A situation that doesn’t differ much from what is happening in Lisbon, and was only solved when a legal loophole that existed until then was filled.
The main challenge is to create rules and at the same time, to be efficient. In March this year, a public contest was launched in the French capital in order to give licenses for shared scooters, and of the sixteen companies which applied, only three got approval to operate for two years, being that license precarious and removable. Each company has five thousand scooters circulating. As in Lisbon, users have specific locations to park and through shared data, the municipality can update the specific needs in terms of schedules or areas.
According to the data gathered in 2019 and published by Lagadic, the user of shared scooters, it’s a young white male with intellectual professions. In Paris, 42% of users are occasional ones, that is, they only use scooters about one to three times per month, and 23% of trips are intermodal. According to Marion Lagadic’s study, without scooters, 44% of users would have chosen to walk, 33% would have used public transportation and only 4% would have used the car.
For Lagadic, the option of using micro-mobility solutions is basically a leisure option and not an alternative to cars. And will bring new shared business such as “sharelock” and the development of new infrastructures for circulation.
A curious fact, in Paris, the shared bicycle services practically disappeared, only two operators still function. Nevertheless, these services were the first to appear, according to Marion Lagadic’s data, in 2018 when the boom started, and its user was a young male who didn’t have much experience in the use of bicycles. At that time, in alternative, 42% of users would have used public transportation and 25% would have walked.
Why are men the main clients of these services? This is a question for which Lagadic has no answer.