Balancing with ease and impact in Bodø
Small town regulation of escooters
Nov 14, 2023
Header image is computer generated
With 50,000 residents and 500 shared e-scooters, the city of Bodø has adopted a principle of minimal regulation. Most zones and rules were established in a one-hour video training session with the municipality. Due to low population density and low vehicle numbers, there have been few issues with scooter distribution, leading to few restrictions.
Screenshot from Bodø's regulator
Early, the city officials grasped the dynamics of digital regulation, knowing that they could add more restrictions to respond to unwanted situations on street level. The operators are also aware of this and behave accordingly. They of course want to operate as freely as possible
The city officials have proactively managed digital regulation and made only a few changes to the 16 zones in the first half a year. The zones include no-go zones on graveyards, no parking in parks and marina, slow zones in the shopping street.
The 500 vehicle cap is only restricted to the central areas of the municipality, thereby the operators may offer as many vehicles as they want outside those zones, enabling a better mobility service on the outskirts. The officials soon realised that the capped zone was too big and reduced it to not include the university campus area at Mørkved, almost 10 km from the centre.
By introducing simple, easy-to-enforce regulations, the town can focus on other priorities without having to devote a lot of time and resources to scooter regulation. Secondly, by having full control over the scooters, the town can gain valuable insights into usage patterns and address any issues as they arise.
The city officials have mostly used the regulation tool to monitor whether the operators comply with the cap on number of vehicles and generally utilisation of vehicles including trips per vehicle, overall trips, distribution of trips throughout the day, mean trip length and when the scooters are being used and most popular routes. The administrator may also review overall availability - including more detailed reports on vehicle states, all from the desktop.
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