Before COVID-19 hit, micromobility was one of the hottest trends sweeping the nation. Traversing city streets using light electric vehicles (LEVs) like ebikes, e-scooters and electric mopeds, micromobility accounted for 136 million trips in 2019. This was equivalent to being the “fifth-busiest subway or rail system in the country.”
Like everything it seems, COVID put the brakes on all that. However, with June/July 2021 gaining momentum as the widely-accepted target return-to-work date for many businesses (from Ford to Microsoft and countless smaller companies), micromobility is back in the spotlight for both businesses and their staff. Some businesses are already starting new employee benefit programs centered around light electric vehicles.
Many businesses and their HR departments are likely to start encouraging employees to use micromobility for transportation. An example is seen as corporate benefit service providers like Edenred are already rolling out micromobility programs.
In fact, this month, “all 10,000 employers that use Edenred’s (pre-paid corporate services) commuter benefits system will have an option to subsidize micromobility trips for the more than 10 million employees they cover. Scooter and bike-riding benefits, for instance, would be loaded onto the same debit cards that Edenred provides to users to cover bus and train fare.”
Employers who embrace this surging trend stand to realize several advantages. First, micromobility will help entice workers to return to work as employees can maintain social distancing while keeping commuting costs at a minimum.
The old days of taking trains and subways are no longer seen as attractive to be confined in close quarters with strangers. The business will also benefit from removing several reasons for tardiness like “my train was delayed”, “I missed my subway”, “I was stuck in traffic”, or “I couldn’t find a parking spot.”
Second, these companies become stewards of environmental preservation by collectively reducing pollutants that come with public transportation and automobile emissions.
Finally, one of the most important benefits is helping to improve staff morale by supporting transportation methods that can increase one’s daily outlook.
Wind blowing through one’s hair, the sun beaming across a worker’s eyes, and the invigoration of facing that morning chill all improve mental wellbeing. There are many advantages to a staff with an improved mental wellbeing, aside from the obvious, improving the wellbeing has been seen to be correlated with boosting productivity.
The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee introduced the Bicycle Commuter Act of 2021, which will add bike sharing to the list of acceptable pre-tax commuter benefits.
This would enable professionals to save money while commuting, beyond the already significant advantages of avoiding costly gas, insurance and parking charges that quickly eat up a paycheck.
Individuals can also keep their distance from others while putting themselves in control of their commutes. Instead of timing one’s house departure to coincide with an arriving train or bus, they can leave whenever they want to without being hindered by public transportation schedules.
Adding to this convenience is the use of folding ebikes or e-scooters that can easily stow under one’s desk or sit in the corner of a cubicle or office. These collapsible LEVs provide real flexibility, especially for commuters that use both public transport and personal electric vehicles. Riders pop their lightweight vehicle in the trunk or carry their LEV onto a subway or train.
Recognizing the many advantages of micromobility, including some of the aforementioned as well as combatting noise and congestion, some cities are making it easier to commute via LEV. Seattle, for instance, permanently closed 18 miles of streets to drivers, providing more space for people to walk and bike following the lockdown. Other city centers across the country are installing bicycle/scooter lanes, dedicated non-street paths and even charging stations.
According to Cleantech Group, “COVID-19 has proven that micromobility is an essential component of a safe and sustainable urban transportation system – cities are rewriting rules, developing supportive policies and allocating more public space to bikes and scooters.”
Micromobility is growing in popularity all around the world. Now is the time for businesses to start thinking about rolling out a Micromobility Employee Benefits Program.
Take the first step and call Ridepanda today: +1 (800) 549-0341
When you call, one of our e-ride experts will be able to walk you through the plan benefits, prerequisites, plan requirements, and answer any of your questions.