Micro mobility is one of the fastest growing trends in most big cities, and Odense is at the fore front with a sharp focus on implementing new solutions to benefit as many as possible, while making sure negative issues are addressed, so these new services are seen by citizens and local businesses as a benefit rather than a nuisance.
There was a time, when moving around over slightly longer distances included taking a bus or a train, maybe you had to change along the way, and you definitely would not be driven all the way to the door, so upon arrival you should expect to walk to your final destination.
Unless of course you took the car, although this includes traffic jams, parking tickets and a general lack of exercise. At least it got you to where you were going – provided you could find a parking spot.
Moving around in a big city has seldom been a cakewalk. But the way we are moving is changing fast.
The German company, TIER, and the Swedish company, VOI, who rent out electric scooters on a per minute basis have just established themselves in Odense. They have been received well by local citizens and visitors, who need to move across the city fast, where public transportation does not cover. During the first two months, VOI had 53,000 rentals and TIER has also started had a strong start, and both have developed to be a team of 15 employees.
”We have experienced a satisfactory increase in the use of our scooters, since we established ourselves here in town. During the startup phase, we have done our best to make sure as many as possible were satisfied, and the locals have been good at keeping our customer center informed of problems or possible improvements, so we can address these as quickly as possible. Add to that, we have an ongoing dialogue with the city, so that we catch any issues early”, says Mads Pedersen, Operations Manager, TIER.
Swapfiets, a Dutch company, established themselves in Odense – well known as a great city for cyclists – around the summer holidays. Swapfiets has experienced high demand for their new product. Their business model is centered around leasing bikes and removing all the downsides for the customer such as repairs and theft.
“We recently started up in Odense, and we see a huge potential. Both due to the great infrastructure and the strong customer potential, but also due to the good dialogue we have with the city government, who quite clearly are eager to enable solutions, which makes life easier and more sustainable for the citizens.” Says Morten Dalgaard, Swapfiets’ Regional Manager in Odense.
But what does the city stand to gain from bikes with blue front wheels and e-scooters on every corner? In tech circles, this approach is called micro mobility, where focus is on small and light means of transportation for shorter distances, for example the last mile from the bus to work or from the restaurant on one side of town to the theater at the other.
Why Odense? The micro mobility companies have chosen the City of Odense due to high number of young people, which are their biggest customer segment. For the e-scooters companies, it was the close collaboration with the municipality which also was one of the major factors for entering the City of Odense.
So far, experiences have generally been positive with a good dialogue between users, citizens, the companies and the city, ensuring that whatever hick-ups and issues arise are addressed.
Picture received from Tier.
+45 2175 8154