April 20, 2020

Getting from point A to point B, faster, smarter and sustainable

Many Americans encounter substantial impact on commuting and travel time, daily. With city populations continuing to expand, the situation is sure to worsen and cause more issues in traffic congestion. According to a recent survey in 2019, the average daily American commute totals approximately 35 minutes. That’s about 152 hours — or 19 full workdays a year — driving to work in their cars1.

The problem

According to Census survey estimates, there are about 1.8 vehicles available per U.S. household. Having two-ton vehicles in the road is normalized and seen as the only way to get around town. The mentality of having to take connecting transportation to get from point A to point B is seen as “a hassle” and “too time consuming.”

What about the ride-hailing apps we know so well? For many years, Uber and Lyft have argued that they are the solution and have the potential to make cities better by easing traffic and reducing personal car ownership; however, when surveys are conducted to test these arguments, these well-known ride-hailing apps seem to fail. Yes, commercial and personal vehicles still top the list, but it’s safe to say Uber and Lyft do have some responsibility for a significant number of vehicles miles traveled (VMT) in a city.

In 2018, both ride-hailing apps agreed to examine their VMT combined in six cities. The findings show that Uber and Lyft account for just 1-3 percent of VMT in the broader metropolitan areas of each city. But those numbers spike when zooming in on the core county of each city. In San Francisco County, for example, Uber and Lyft make up as much as 13.4 percent of all vehicle miles. In Boston, it’s 8 percent; in Washington, DC, it’s 7.2 percent.2

Possible solutions

To solve these issues, cities are looking into different ways to ease the problem and control traffic congestion. Some cities have begun to implement “road-dieting.” Road-dieting is lane reduction or road rechannelization. This is a technique in transportation whereby the number of travel lanes and/or effective width of the road is reduced in order to achieve systemic improvements. Since roads cannot be expanded, this method encourages the use of public transportation.

If road-dieting is plugged into more and more cities, this will also decrease the amount of parking and garage spaces needed within a city. By taking away parking, real estate in every city can increase by +30%, globally.

Autonomous and electric vehicles have also been in talks of solving this issue; however, does it really solve the issue of decreasing congestion and making the roads clearer and safer? In 2025, France plans to have all vehicles run electric, but if every car went electric, the electric grid in Paris would not be able to handle, nor control it. This will call for a need to have an electric battery model.

The solution

Although commercial and personal vehicles are the main cause for traffic congestion, data shows millennials are less interested in owning vehicles than previous generations.3 There are some key factors for the decline in car sales, but the main factors include price and the mentality of having a car to “just sit there.” Millennials view car-ownership as a hassle and a reason to save more money by not owning a car. Insurance companies have felt the wrath of this situation and several have begun to invest towards the rise of micromobility companies.

Micromobility has continued to grow the last recent years and has become more noticeable throughout the United States and the world. Micromobility has transformed cities, providing commuters with more convenient, affordable, and safe transportation options than ever before4. Recently, the most identifiable and familiar form of micromobility transportation has been the use of electric scooters.

Enter Bolt Mobility

At Bolt Mobility, the fleet of e-scooters provides affordable transportation, while helping reduce traffic congestion— and carbon emissions. Bolt has conducted extensive research within urban areas and is prepared to revolutionize transportation. The goal is to provide a scooter that will aid in alleviating transit issues including traffic congestion with little to no impact on pedestrian comfort5.

Recently announced riders now have the option to buy a Bolt­­ scooter — and keep it. Riders will be allowed to enjoy the benefits of micromobility whenever and wherever they want. As a bonus to keeping the scooter, riders will be able to earn extra income by renting the e-scooters and adding it to the local fleet through Bolt Mobility.

Riders can choose between two of the models to own within the e-scooter fleet: BOLTchariot or BOLTone. These models are basically an “iPhone on wheels.” They provide MobilityOS: a touch screen, built-in operating system that displays speed, battery life and a GPS. The scooters are the roadmap for micromobility and is economical, easy and the most sustainable way to get from point A to point B.

Bolt Mobility is ready to redesign city mobility around the world with affordable, accessible choices. The team is determined to clean up our planet with simple, safe and sustainable transport solutions.

1.     https://nypost.com/2019/04/19/americans-spend-19-full-work-days-a-year-stuck-in-traffic-on-their-commute/

2.     https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/6/20756945/uber-lyft-tnc-vmt-traffic-congestion-study-fehr-peers

3.     https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-27/millennials-aren-t-making-car-ownership-obsolete

4.     https://micromobilitycoalition.org/

5.     https://www.micromobility.com/