Why do you say that your next car is a bicycle?
In the window of a bicycle shop in Copenhagen, a sign read: Your next car is a bicycle.
In the most bicycle-friendly city in the world, more than 62% of Copenhageners commute to get off work by bicycle every day. At the same time, the city government is actively preparing for the construction of new bicycle lanes and green wave belts to achieve unimpeded commuting in the morning. In recent years, new types of bicycles, such as freight and electric bicycles, have also reduced the demand for family cars.
But these trends are not unique to Copenhagen. All over the world, cities are ushering in smarter, healthier, and cheaper vehicles and systems, and they are trying to integrate them into existing transportation modes.
Paris took the lead in launching one of the earliest urban electric bicycle programs, the Vélib' system, and launched it all over the world. The system uses the innovation of smart cards at the beginning of the 21st century to deploy a fleet of approximately 15,000 bicycles for residents and tourists, open hourly. It quickly became a refreshing model, and the city’s boulevards began to move away from traffic jams and crowds.
The system was very successful and inspired similar plans around the world: Milan in 2008, London in 2010, and even New York in 2013. To many people’s surprise, New York is on its way to becoming a bicycle-friendly city. Lead.
The next wave comes from the east. Chinese start-ups Mobike and Ofo and Singapore-based oBike use GPS tracking. If you know the location of the bike, why do you need a parking lot?
Therefore, the shared system was born, which has obvious advantages in customer use and urban deployment. Before being promoted to many other cities in 2017, these companies raised billions of dollars in funding and were called Chinese bicycle "unicorns", with a Silicon Valley valuation of 1 billion US dollars or more.
However, the micro-travel mode has solved important urban problems, so it will certainly play a role in the cities of the future.
Of all trips in the United States, 80% of trips are less than 12 miles, and in New York City, most are less than 2 miles. This is where the car is not particularly competitive distance, and it is also a convenient place for micro-travel tools. Micro-transports are more energy-efficient and space-saving. If special passages are provided for these vehicles, it will be safer.
In addition, why use a 5-seater, 900 kg SUV to carry people who are often less than 90 kg? If you can directly find the most suitable vehicle for you through your mobile phone, such as bicycles, dockless electric scooters, etc., it has now been deployed on major streets by companies such as Bird, Lime and Bolt. These e-scooter companies have attracted investment from major car operators such as Uber and Lyft, because they may be just the earliest signs that the way to move is rich in biodiversity.
If micro-transportation can play a major role in the next few years, cities and investors should plan ahead to avoid similar troubles. For example, in order to avoid the appearance of bicycle burial grounds, cities should start to provide them with designated parking places. This is very suitable for managing city-wide resources, which can generate revenue for public administration. In order to manage this multi-purpose physical space, there can be a corresponding unique digital platform that allows us to freely choose to ride bicycles, scooters, walks, take ride-hailing cars, take the subway or train, and hitchhiking with friends. We can call it the "mobile network"-an integrated platform similar to the aviation industry decades ago.
Cities should also fully communicate with citizens. Urban technology means using the city as a laboratory. The next few years are an important period of experimentation, and the city government should communicate with citizens and guide them to tolerate failure. This means allowing people to test ideas and try to innovate, and use feedback loops to measure user reactions.
If we can solve the above problems, the future of micro travel will be bright and will help our cities become healthier and more sustainable. Finally, your next car, in fact, can be an electric bicycle.