A new kind of data-driven public/private partnership is emerging as the number of dockless vehicles in cities grows. Both government entities and “urban mobility solution providers” — think app-based rental scooters from Uber, Lime and Bird — stand to benefit by sharing information such as vehicle use, curb regulations and traffic statistics.
Cities regulate curbs, parking and drop-off/pickup zones, so they need data to make sure mobility companies and their customers are in compliance. Cities can also use the data for planning and rezoning based on usage statistics. Companies, on the other hand, can improve their services by getting information from cities on construction zones and parking costs in a given area, for example, that they can pass to customers.
“The data that comes out of people using services, the aggregated data, is very valuable for cities” that use it for planning, prioritizing limited resources and improving existing infrastructure, whether that’s for cars or pedestrians or bike lanes or dockless vehicles, according to Michael Schnuerle, the city data officer for Louisville, Ky. The information, gathered by the city itself through 311 calls or data-sharing agreements with companies, “helps us provide better services to our residents in general,” he said.
Dockless Scooters Gain Popularity and Scorn Across the U.S., NPR, 29 Aug 2018
Disrupting the Commons: Dockless Bikes and Scooters Create Layers of Community Instability, Motherboard, 26 Aug 2018
Federal Agency to Study Dockless Scooter Health Risks, Next City, 13 Dec 2018
Mapping the Impact of Dockless Vehicles, Smart Cities Dive, 8 Feb 2019