Designated parking areas work

Mathias Molden and Knut Solvig

In December 2020, Bergen set the rule that users should park scooters only in designated parking areas in the inner city centre. We analysed how well this works in reality. For that, we had a look at 91 different parking areas in the inner centre of Bergen. It turns out that 89 % of scooters connected to the real-time rules from the Nivel Regulator are parked in the designated parking areas as they should.

Tidier streets with mandatory parking areas

During the scooter pilot in Bergen, most operators received real-time policy data, while one operator did not participate. Users of the latter were not required to end their trips in the dedicated parking zones. Surprisingly, 50 % of these users also parked their vehicles voluntarily in the parking areas.

It shows that users want to park correctly when they have the opportunity to do so, says Lars Ove Kvalbein.

On June 1, 2022 Bergen enacted local regulations that require all operators to comply with their set of regulations to operate in the city. Therefore, the percentage of free-floating vehicles will become lower in the future because of mandatory data sharing between all operators and the city.

GPS positioning doesn’t have to be 100 % precise

When a city creates parking areas in the Nivel Regulator, operators configure their vehicles to allow so that the user can end the trip within a radius of approximately 30 meters around the relatively small parking area. This is because the exact location of a scooter down to a few metres through GPS positioning is difficult to obtain. However, we observed that if parking areas are in sight for the user, only very few people decide to park a scooter far away from the marked areas, even if the digital buffer allows for it.

Specifically, we found that less than 4 % of the geo-fenced scooters were parked more than 5 meters outside designated parking areas, while users practically could end the trip within a radius of 30 meters. This indicates that users in Bergen are happy to help keep streets tidy if parking areas are widely available.

User-friendly creation of designated parking areas

The creation of designated parking areas is one of the most common regulations that cities set within the Nivel Regulator. We think this should be very easy to do and therefore have optimised the workflow to create these areas as quickly as possible. Bergen creates regularly new parking areas within a few minutes. We strive to create tidy streets with minimal effort.

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