New Report: Strategies for Inclusive Micromobility Vehicle Design

A woman with gray hair on a seated, throttle-assist scooter looking at a cityscape

Shared micromobility is revolutionizing urban transportation, offering a convenient and sustainable solution for everyday trips. However, the industry’s focus on standing scooters and pedal-assist e-bikes results in a substantial number of riders being underrepresented and underserved. In an effort to make micromobility a viable option for more riders, Veo embarked on a research effort to uncover strategies to broaden access through vehicle design and innovation.

Download the report: From Trikes to Seated Scooters: Increasing Access to Micromobility Through Vehicle Design

While there has been extensive research on the role of protected bike lanes in increasing micromobility access, there has been a lack of focus on the connection between vehicle design and access, particularly within the shared use market. To bridge this gap, Veo gathered community insights from focus groups in Seattle, Washington and analyzed quantitative data from Veo’s national rider survey. In this new report, Veo outlines findings and proposes ten recommendations for improving micromobility access through vehicle design, with a focus on adults aged 45+ and riders with disabilities.

Key insights of the report

Various features can enhance accessibility
This includes throttles that allow riders to propel themselves forward without pedaling, seats for balance and comfort, a low center of gravity for stability, and large tires for navigating uneven surfaces.

Riders aged 45 and above and people with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to prefer seated, throttle-assist vehicles over standing scooters
These groups will benefit significantly from the integration of more accessible vehicle types into micromobility programs, such as seated scooters, throttle-assist e-bikes, and trikes.

Mixed fleets of vehicles support a diverse population
People are different by design, which is why micromobility programs should offer a range of vehicle types to meet the varied needs and preferences of community members.

Cities should leverage policy tools to increase access
Cities should mandate and incentivize micromobility providers to offer mixed fleets, with a guarantee that a mix of vehicles with accessible features will be available to the community at all times.

Community-centered vehicle innovation is crucial
Micromobility vehicles available on the shared use market do not fully meet the access needs of adults aged 45+ and people with disabilities. Micromobility providers should prioritize innovation and community engagement to develop and deploy accessible fleets of the future.

Cities actively paving the way for more accessible micromobility

A number of cities are already leading the way to advance equitable micromobility through accessible vehicle types.

📍 New York City, NY
The New York City Department of Transportation coordinated with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities to require all vendors permitted in their system to participate in an accessible design competition as a condition of their permit.

Two people riding together, one on a standing scooter and one on a throttle-assist e-bike, with the U.S. capitol in the background.

📍 Washington, DC
The nation’s capital boasts a diverse fleet of approximately 20,000 vehicles, proactively including a mixed vehicle fleet of standing scooters, pedal-only bikes, class 1 pedal-assist e-bikes, and class 2 throttle-assist e-bikes.

📍 Newark, NJ
In Newark, regulations incentivize mixed vehicle fleets by offering micromobility providers a larger fleet cap if they incorporate a variety of vehicle types.

📍 Toledo, Ohio
The City of Toledo is taking proactive steps with vehicle design by hosting community design charrettes in collaboration with Veo focused on bringing innovative, accessible vehicle types such as trikes into its micromobility program.

📍 Milwaukee, WI
The City’s Shared Mobility Program requires operators to provide an “accessible” vehicle type including but not limited to scooters with seats and wider wheels.

📍 Berkeley, CA
The City stipulated the need for an operator with a seated option in their micromobility permit requirements.

Download the report: From Trikes to Seated Scooters: Increasing Access to Micromobility Through Vehicle Design