Flexibility and connectivity - how shared micromobility supports cities at their busiest

Flexibility and connectivity - how shared micromobility supports cities at their busiest

As cities across Australia and New Zealand host major events throughout the year, data reveals the vital role that shared micromobility can play in supporting urban mobility, particularly during major events.

With the influx of visitors and increased street activity, shared micromobility is increasingly being relied upon by cities and event organisers to offer a flexible, scalable solution to support transportation needs.

E-scooters have certainly become a popular mode of transport for residents and visitors in a city travelling during, and to and from, major events, with data from recent large events - such as stadium concerts and sporting matches - in Beam's operational cities showcasing their popularity amongst event-goers.

According to Beam's data from event days in Auckland and Wellington, approximately 30% of e-scooters deployed on the streets on event days is used for direct travel to stadium-sized events. In Wellington, the majority of these trips are direct trips with the stadium approximately 2.5kms from the CBD, where in Auckland they often form part of the first or last mile, with riders either scooting to and from the train or bus stations, or driving partway and using e-scooters for the last mile of a car journey to avoid congestion at the event site.

"Before every major event, we analyse potential transport routes event attendees may take, and make changes to where we deploy our e-scooters to ensure they're in the best possible locations,"

says Auckland Operations Manager Matias Roque.

"For example, with key train stations closed during the recent Harry Styles concert in Auckland, we deployed additional e-scooters at the operating train stations closest to the event to support last mile travel.
"As our e-scooters are easily scaled up and down in popular 'hotspot' areas, we are able to adapt on the day to meet rider demand."

E-scooters are used not only by residents living within an e-scooter operating area, but also by those in surrounding cities.

"On event days, we increase the number of e-scooters available outside Wellington Station, so those coming from out of town can ride to the stadium,"

says Wellington Operations Manager Jackson Jebaselvan.

"We've received great feedback from event-goers from cities in the wider Wellington region, telling us that without the last mile option of e-scooters, they would've driven their car instead."

Moreover, e-scooters also offer a flexible mode of transportation after the event is over. E-scooters are often used as a first mile/last mile connection to train and bus stations, providing a convenient and efficient way for event-goers to get home.

During the 2023 NRL Magic Round held in Brisbane, over 2,000 trips to the stadium were taken on Beam e-scooters daily throughout the Round, with a similar number of riders leaving the stadium post-event on an e-scooter.

Data showed a nearly even split between riders utilising e-scooters for first and last mile connections to cars parked further away, bus stops and train stations, and for a direct route from hotels in the CBD and South Bank.

Event organisers and stadium managers, realising the benefits of shared micromobility for event ingress and egress, work closely with micromobility operators to develop park and ride, and on-site parking hubs for e-scooters.

Post-event trip map from Mt Smart Stadium, showing e-scooter travel to public transport and personal cars parked some distance away.
Post-event trip map from Sky Stadium.

But in addition to supporting post-event trips home, many riders choose to use e-scooters to travel to the CBD and other restaurant and lifestyle precincts to continue their evening, enhancing the economic activity in these areas. Event goers are increasingly extending their days out, supporting local businesses in the meantime.

"We often work with the event venues to create parking spots in close distance to egress points, to allow for crowds to disperse quickly but safely,"

says Jackson Jebaselvan.

"It's a very efficient operation - our city operations team are often outside the venue whilst the event is going on, repositioning e-scooters at these key spots, where riders now expect to see them."

Major events in a city can also activate activity in entertainment and lifestyle precincts throughout the event day, with data from both Auckland and Wellington showing that there is an average increase in trips of 40% during single event days across the city (data from other Beam operating cities shows this can rise to 50% during festivals with a larger number of events across smaller venues).

This highlights the significant impact of major events on local transportation patterns and how e-scooters play a crucial role in being able to scale up quickly to support spikes in city activity, and support other forms of public transportation with fixed routes, such as buses and trains.

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