States have a Role to Play in the Future of Shared Micromobility

Two weeks ago, Senator John Cavanagh of the Nebraska Legislature introduced LB1250, a bill that would provide state-level grant funding for bikeshare programs. NABSA commends Senator Cavanagh for putting policy to work for shared micromobility, and encourages other states (and provinces in Canada) to do the same.

LB1250 will be heard by the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee on February 5th, 2024. NABSA urges the Committee to pass the bill.

What was once a novel idea, is now a proven tool: For over a decade, shared micromobility has continued to be an effective and affordable means for people to get to where they need to go, address the first/last mile problem, fill transit deserts, encourage economic development, generate spending, and create jobs in communities. As NABSA’s annual Shared Micromobility State of the Industry Reports show year-over-year, shared micromobility continues to deliver on these benefits to communities, yet remains underfunded with public dollars.

In 2022:

  • 157 million trips were made on shared micromobility across North America, 127.7 million of which were in the US.
  • 64% of riders report that they use shared micromobility to connect to transit.
  • 74 million pounds of CO2 emissions were offset by shared micromobility trips replacing car trips across North America.
  • 18.7 million hours of additional physical activity were gained by North Americans riding shared bikes and scooters.
  • 8,100 estimated people employed by the industry, or 1 person for every 36 vehicles.

Now is a critical juncture for policymakers and public leaders at all levels to allocate funding toward shared micromobility. States have a powerful and necessary role to play in this investment. Bills that create grant programs, like LB1250 is one approach.

State level support can work in tandem with federal and local support. Late last year, NABSA applauded the introduction of the E-Bike Share Act by Representative Barragán. The bill would create a grant program for e-bikeshare in disadvantaged communities. Bikeshare and scootershare have a strong track record of providing impactful programs to advance equity and make shared micromobility accessible to disadvantaged communities. This bill would support that work, and provide needed investment to implement or expand electric bikeshare options in these communities, which has been shown to be extremely popular, and an effective tool in creating more equitable and sustainable transportation ecosystems.

Shared micromobility has repeatedly delivered as a powerful tool that can be leveraged to build more equitable, sustainable, and resilient transportation networks and spur economic development in communities. Now is the time to invest in it for its continued growth and success. Like transit, shared micromobility is a form of public transportation that needs public funding to support the capital and operational costs necessary to continue providing and growing its public good.

Check out NABSA’s resource Incorporating Shared Micromobility into EV Charging Projects and NABSA’s advocacy page for more information on the benefits of shared micromobility in communities, and how policy can support.