NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charge, a micromobility company dedicated to building the largest network of electric charging, storage and service stations for e-scooters and e-bikes, today announced its vision of “Micromobility For All,” an ideology in which micromobility solutions are designed to be accessible, equitable and sustainable for all pedestrians, riders and communities. Dockless e-scooters today create clutter on city sidewalks, representing a hazard for pedestrians, particularly for those with disabilities. E-scooters have also stirred controversy with numerous reported injuries, complaints and lawsuits from non-riders – stemming largely from poor education on safety. With appropriate parameters and infrastructure in place, cities will be able to finally embrace the proliferation of first/last-mile transportation, like e-scooters, while maintaining the integrity of their streetscape.
“Micromobility should not be introduced into urban environments at the expense of pedestrians,” said Quemuel Arroyo, Charge’s recently appointed global head of community. “Scooter parking litter endangers pedestrians, bikers and vehicles, as well as creating visual clutter. In order for us to successfully roll out micromobility options, we must establish parameters for cities and e-scooter companies on how to encourage micromobility while protecting the integrity, access and safety of the streetscape for all pedestrians.”
Addressing the Accessibility Shortcomings of Micromobility
Until very recently, the integrity of streets and sidewalks has not been factored into the micromobility conversation. The way e-scooters have been rolled out in cities worldwide has been largely unsuccessful because it has created accessibility issues for pedestrians and residents. Many major cities are flooded with tens of thousands of e-scooters, throwing streets and sidewalks into disarray. To preserve urban accessibility, the integrity of the streetscape must be prioritized and preserved.
The shortcomings of the dockless e-scooter model are legitimate concerns for city planners and pedestrians alike, making the legalization of e-scooters a conundrum for regulators. To embrace micromobility in their communities, regulators will need to take an infrastructure-based approach to e-scooters, which includes designated parking for e-scooters such as docks and charging stations. In many cases, what municipalities lack is this vital infrastructure that can bring e-scooter chaos to order.
Designing Micromobility For All
The industry must unite in creating equitable solutions for everyone to have access to leave their homes and navigate their neighborhoods safely. Infrastructure, procedure and technology have the potential to finally let cities and communities fully embrace the micromobility movement. Examples include:
- Utilizing Universal Design Practices: Universal Design is a concept that defines the “design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.” By incorporating Universal Design practices into micromobility – such as designing products with sufficient contrast between essential information and its surroundings – the industry can ensure better product usability and streetscape accessibility.
- Connecting Data to Support the Visually Impaired: GIS data has the potential to lessen the burden of micromobility for the blind and visually impaired. By incorporating this data on the position of e-scooters, e-bikes and docking stations into services such as BlindSquare, people with visual impairments can be alerted to the presence of any micromobility component that might obstruct their path.
- Modifications for Manual Wheelchairs: Technology could also provide a solution for those with mobility impairments, who have been largely excluded from micromobility thus far. For example, a device could be designed to attach to a person’s manual wheelchair, providing a means with which a person with mobility impairments could enjoy the benefits of the micromobility movement.
Charge Leads the Next Wave of Micromobility
Charge provides vital infrastructure for riders and rideshare operators by offering a convenient place to charge and store e-vehicles, helping protect the integrity of city streets and keeping pedestrians and residents safe. The company is building the largest network of electric charging, storage and service stations for e-scooters, having secured more than 6,000 real estate locations worldwide to install its innovative micromobility-servicing infrastructure.
“The world is struggling to harness the potential of micromobility while addressing issues of safety, accessibility and regulation,” said Andrew Fox, CEO and co-founder of Charge. “As we enter the next wave of the global micromobility movement – making micromobility available, accessible and safe for all – we are committed to partnering with cities, e-scooter operators, residents and our extensive real estate network to create a sustainable path forward for electric micromobility.”
To learn more about the company’s product suite or to bring Charge to your city, please visit www.charge.us.
Charge is a micromobility company dedicated to building the largest network of electric charging, storage and service stations for e-bikes and e-scooters. The company’s docking stations will be installed in privately-owned parking garages, lots and spaces throughout major markets around the world, providing a convenient, safe and cost-effective space to charge, store and service e-vehicles, while reducing e-vehicle clutter on city streets and sidewalks. Charge has entered into numerous agreements with garage operators and property owners, securing a network of nearly 6,000 locations to install its docking stations. Charge is also developing a proprietary mobile application that will interface with its docking stations and provide users with available locations as well as real-time e-vehicle availability of partnered rideshare platforms. For more information, please visit charge.us, and connect with the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.