- Detroit and dockless bike and scooter company Lime will partner with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) to help cities evaluate the impact of dockless vehicles on city streets.
- Under the deal, Detroit will use NACTO’s SharedStreets transportation data system to analyze anonymized scooter usage data, and Lime will work with NACTO and the city to develop a broader data standard for operators cities everywhere can use.
- "In just one year, scooters have completely transformed mobility. In Detroit, we took a forward-looking view on this new option to understand how it could make it easier for Detroiters to get around,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “Our next step is to use data to better inform our decisions, whether it’s providing more mobility options in more neighborhoods or making sure scooters aren’t blocking the right of way.”
The growth of dockless bikes and scooters has been astronomical in the past year, but it has resulted in some hard feelings between dockless companies and cities, which have been unprepared for the vehicle influx and struggled to write regulations for the disruptive technology. If successful, this pilot program could help cities understand where the bikes and scooters are being used and for how long, and so could help them see where biking infrastructure needs to be boosted to encourage safe riding.
“We’ve made progress updating the hardware of today’s streets, and with SharedStreets we can build the software we need to manage the streets of tomorrow,” Janette Sadik-Khan, NACTO chair, said in a statement. “By merging private sector data with public-sector street design tools, we can keep people moving and build cities that work for everyone, no matter how they get around.”
This announcement comes on the heels of a deal struck last month by Ford, Uber and Lyft as private sector partners on SharedStreets, which also looks to collate data on curb space, parking demand and traffic speeds to help cities and the ride-hailing industry work together and alleviate congestion. SharedStreets was first funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and developed in collaboration with NACTO and the Open Transport Partnership.
As ride-hailing companies look to encourage other options like transit, bikes and scooters and discourage car ownership, collaboration across the public and private sectors is key. “Cities are engines of innovation — especially when the public and private sector work together,” former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.