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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article6 December 20232 min read

New report on shared micromobility regulation

Shared micromobility has received considerable attention in many cities as the influx of e-scooters and e-bikes has led to public demands for action from officials. Several cities and regions have introduced regulations to better manage new micromobility fleets.

To local and regional authorities, shared micromobility poses a governance challenge with many moving parts: it's about sustainability, but also about safety; innovation, but also disruption; enforcement of rules, but also negotiation; decisions, but also effective follow-through. It can be argued that 'proper regulation' should be a prerequisite for the deployment of mobility services. Reality, however, begs to differ, and new mobility services have repeatedly appeared before regulation has been put in place.

Innovation breeds disruption, and regulation inevitably follows. This means that most local and regional authorities have been faced with the challenge of regulating something that was already in use. And, in many cases, to do so without clarity about what their regulatory power really is, let alone what its purpose should be.

Thus, this new report explores: 

  • How local and regional authorities are regulating shared mobility.
  • What has worked, what has not, and what can be learnt from these experiences.
  • The differences and commonalities that arise between cities.
  • And most importantly, the strategies that can point the way forward for both public authorities and private operators.

In order to inform this report, and in an effort to comprehensively assess the challenges and ways forward for shared micromobility in European cities, POLIS conducted a survey and interviews with a variety of stakeholders, including public practitioners and private operators, including cities such as AntwerpBerlinBudapestCzestochowaLisbonLeuvenMadridParisStockholm, Faro and Oslo.

In response to rapid change and increasing public demand, local and regional governments have taken the initiative to regulate based on their local context and available tools. This regulatory action has focused on several critical issues within authorities' jurisdiction, including urban space allocation, vehicle requirements, and user behaviour. The current process of regulating shared micromobility illustrates the challenges of introducing new modes of transport into a pre-existing infrastructure framework dominated by the private car.

Looking ahead, the pertinent question is not only how to regulate these new modes, but also how long the traditional monopoly of the private car will last. Because climate neutrality demands a shift away from the conventional way of organising transport, it is increasingly relevant to consider strategies for seamlessly integrating new and shared mobility services into the urban mobility ecosystem. In this context, the role of policy is to provide an effective framework for introducing new forms of transport into the mobility mix. At the same time, transport planners must focus on redistributing land in favour of sustainable, socially acceptable, safe and health-promoting means of transport.

Read the full report here.



Publication date
6 December 2023
  • Policy and research
  • Shared mobility
  • Europe-wide