Detroit Joins Program to Monitor, Manage Micro-mobility Use of Scooters

Detroit is part of a collaborative pilot program to manage micro-mobility through North Carolina’s Passport mobility platform. Passport allows clients to digitally coordinate, track, and manage all modes of transportation.
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Micro-mobility scooter
Detroit is participating in a program to monitor use of the city’s scooters through a mobility platform. // File photo

Detroit is part of a collaborative pilot program to manage micro-mobility through North Carolina’s Passport mobility platform. Passport allows clients to digitally coordinate, track, and manage all modes of transportation.

The rapid introduction of micro-mobility, such as the use of scooters, has created challenges for cities to manage the supply and use of the vehicles. Micro-mobility solutions, however, reduce congestion, provide first- and last-mile solutions, improve pedestrian safety, and increase mobility in underserved areas.

“Working with Passport, we can now gather insight on how our citizens are using these new forms of mobility and be more strategic about managing scooters using supply/demand economics,” says Mark de la Vergne, chief of mobility innovation for the city of Detroit. “With this pilot program, we are now connected to a network of cities facing the same challenges, and we can effectively work together to develop a new regulatory model that can be scaled nationally.”

Charlotte and Omaha also are part of the program. The three cities will share best practices and use the Passport platform. They will be able to maintain visibility and control over scooter deployments and better manage their curbs, while mobility providers will be able to more flexibly and conveniently manage their fleets.

The platform will allow the cities to analyze scooter distribution and usage patterns, power curbside pricing and payments, and manage scooters to address city-level objectives such as equitable access and first- and last-mile solutions for transit.

Instead of capping scooter volumes or imposing flat fees, the methodology and technology will allow each city to incentivize behavior by charging for curb space fairly across all modes of mobility. Just as cities charge cars to use curbside parking, they will be able to charge an existing digital parking infrastructure for scooters.

Passport has invested $5 million to help cities build the digital infrastructure necessary to coordinate complex urban transportation ecosystems.

The three cities already are part of Passport’s base of nearly 600 partnerships with municipalities, universities, and private operators worldwide. Passport is the largest facilitator of curbside payments in North American, offering mobile payments for parking, digital parking permits, enforcement software, and public transit mobile ticketing.

“While our relationships with these cities began with mobile payments for parking, permits, and enforcement, it soon became apparent that there was much more we could do together to improve urban mobility in each city,” says Bob Youakim, CEO of Passport. “We will continue to help each city define their needs for curb management, be it through the management of scooters, first-/last-mile services, or the integration of new connected technologies that create a seamless relationship between city officials and residents.”

More information on the pilot program is available here.

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