Simply being profitable doesn’t necessarily mean floating transport is good for a city, and the growth of the sector has been a bumpy ride. A big problem is that pavement is a shared space, and a limited resource. The overcrowding problems San Francisco has seen with Bird scooters are mirrored in London by Ofo bikes – a model where users abandon their vehicles wherever they want inevitably results in pavements littered with out-of-service rides.
I am taken by Hern’s closing remarks concerning reliability over flexibility.
Ultimately, floating transport is going to have to learn another lesson that conventional transportation bodies have taken to heart: flexible may be fun, but cities run on reliable.
This leaves me thinking that sometimes what is required is community and sometimes that involves patience. What is the cost to the public/private transport industry when everyone relies on private personal transport models like Bird or Uber?