Advocacy


NABSA advocates for the bikeshare and shared micromobility industry at the local, state, and federal levels. Our policy positions are based on NABSA’s core values for the bikeshare and shared micromobility industry: Safety, Community First, Cooperation, Customer-Focused, Transparency, and Equity.

National Advocacy

NABSA’s federal priorities focus on funding bikeshare and shared micromobility as a vital component of a robust 21st Century transportation system.

Increase available funds for direct investment in bikeshare and shared micromobility systems, allowing funds to be used to study and support the growth of this emerging industry. These systems allow for decreased congestion on roadways, improved air quality, and benefits to public health through active transportation, and have historically been successful programs funded through CMAQ grants. Allowing for the explicit use of these funds for the planning and execution of bikeshare and shared micromobility programs will go a long way in weaving bikeshare and shared micromobility into the fabric of public transportation.

Fund safe and reliable infrastructure for bikeshare and shared micromobility systems by expanding the Transportation Alternatives Program. TAP supports some of the most cost-effective programming for creating a safer and more sustainable transportation network for all roadway users. We request that the funding be increased to support a 21st-century transportation system that fosters innovation and provides consumers with the most possible choices for transportation.

Prioritize the use of HSIP funds to support the safety of vulnerable roadway users.
People riding on bikes, ebikes, and scooters are especially vulnerable in the roadway. States should be required to spend a percentage of awarded HSIP funds on safety improvements for vulnerable users, providing protected infrastructure for people walking, biking, and using shared micromobility devices.

Reinstate the Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit and expand to include bikeshare and shared micromobility.
Allowing for bikeshare and shared micromobility to be counted as a pre-tax wage benefit encourages sustainable commuting and reduced congestion.

US Federal Legislation NABSA Supports in the 116th Congress

HR 1507 Bicycle Commuter Act

HR 4001 Bikeshare Transit Act of 2019

HR 3040 SAFE Streets Act

S 2302: America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019

HR 3663 and S 2077 Complete Streets Act of 2019

State-Level Advocacy

State-level legislation impacting bikeshare and micromobility is a new norm. NABSA works proactively to guide our members and the industry in this policy environment in two ways:

  1. To equip NABSA members with the tools to stay informed and take action when necessary.
  2. To convene high impact cross-sector conversations with members of the industry and partner organizations to ensure that stakeholder groups are talking the same language, and that policies uphold NABSA’s core values (as stated in our Code of Conduct) and meet the evolving goals of the shared micromobility industry.

NABSA State Advocacy Principles

Successes at the State Level

Florida: On December 19, 2017, Florida State Senator Dana Young introduced SB 1304: Dockless Bicycle Sharing in the Florida Senate, and on December 18th, 2017, Representative Jackie Toledo introduced the same bill, HB 1103, into the Florida House. In March, 2018 the bills were defeated through the efforts of NABSA and allies. Read more about the defeat here.

 

Oklahoma: In January 2018, Oklahoma State Senator Jason Smalley introduced SB 1374: Dockless Bicycle Sharing in the Oklahoma Senate. Originally, the bill did not include any preemption language. Preemption language was added to the bill and rushed through committee during the final days of February. At the end of April 2018, this bill was defeated through the efforts of NABSA and allies. Read more about the defeat here.

These bills were problematic because they sought to preempt local governmental power to make decisions about bikeshare issues. These issues include safety, equipment quality and life cycle, maintenance, rebalancing, customer service, fleet size, user data privacy, and other critical policies.

Authority to regulate and manage bikeshare and shared micromobility must remain at the local level. It is the local decision-makers that know the needs of their citizens and city streets!

State-level legislation regulating bikeshare and shared micromobility has a part to play in helping to facilitate the growth and implementation of shared scooter systems, but it must play the right part. Opportunities and obstacles in each jurisdiction’s right-of-way, as well as travel patterns and needs of citizens are different in each place.

As such, NABSA supports provisions in state-level policy that allow and do not restrict the ability of local authorities to enact regulations and management of bikeshare and shared micromobility devices. NABSA opposes legislation that removes or shifts authority from local/municipal government to the state or federal level. In particular, many regulatory issues – such as fleet size, parking and riding restrictions, speed limit, data standards and formats, fees, contract/permit/license structure, and public notification, etc. – are fundamentally local issues and are best addressed at a local level, based on local conditions and needs.

 


NABSA advocates for what is good for the entire bikeshare and shared micromobility industry.
Legislation that benefits one player while harming the rest, goes against our Code of Conduct and is not something that NABSA supports.


Local decision-makers must have the ability to manage the public right-of-way in adherence to ADA and other equity and safety ordinances. Taking decision-making power away from local authorities may inhibit their ability to make sure their communities comply with local, state and federal regulations.


The burden of cost and oversight is at the local level, therefore local jurisdictions need to have a say in how they will be impacted. We have seen that in cities where bikeshare and shared micromobility is in operation, costs are incurred by a City due to administrative oversight, permit review, monitoring, safety inspection, managing requests or complaints and removal of derelict bicycles. As each community has different capacities for bikeshare management, local jurisdictions must have control over the level of burden and have the opportunity to recoup these costs from for-profit vendor(s).


A clear, uniform definition of electric scooters in state vehicle codes is beneficial to vendors, cities, advocates, and the general public. As such, NABSA supports  state-level legislation that defines electric scooters as legal vehicles and clarifies their place in state vehicle codes. The decision of whether or not to allow shared electric scooters in a jurisdiction is a local decision. NABSA supports legislation that leaves this to local purview, or expressly states this if language is needed per state rules.


Bicycles, electric bicycles and electric scooters are different products and should be regulated differently as appropriate. In particular, NABSA supports language that defines electric scooters independently of regulations regarding bicycles and electric bicycles.


Subject to local considerations, bike lanes and protected bicycle infrastructure is the most sensible place for shared micromobility devices to be ridden.


The potential for dockless share micromobility is exciting, but it is also new, and many issues regarding product design, technology, operation, and user behavior are still being tackled. Studies are currently assessing safety following reports of shared e-scooter injury rates, for one example, and ADA compliance remains a challenge. NABSA’s principles and resources for shared e-scooter safety contains the latest information on this emerging issue.