NYU researchers pave the way for future shared mobility

Researchers at C2SMART, led by Joseph Chow, Institute Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Urban Engineering and the Deputy Director at the C2SMART Tier-1 University Transportation Center at NYU, have been working in the area of micro-mobility, a category of transit comprising e-scooters, mopeds, bicycles and the like, that has grown in popularity in cities around the world.

Acknowledging the rapid growth of e-scooter adoption, these researchers looked specifically at the role that these vehicles play for the first and last mile in connecting travelers to public transit. "What we could witness in the long term might be a shift in the mode distribution by distance. For short-distance trips, you'll see e-scooters insert themselves into that spectrum," says Joseph Chow.

Chow recognizes that in the future there still will be a strong dependence on automobiles when used in conjunction with conventional fixed rail transit. However, he believes this might change if transit agencies consider running more on-demand services and micro-mobility. "In the long term, I think this would help to reduce the car and vehicle miles traveled, which would help to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions," he adds.