The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 52-13 [Active (Synthesis)]

Micromobility Policies, Permits, and Practices
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/1/2020 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Leslie C. Harwood
Research Agency: University of South Florida (CUTR)
Principal Investigator: Alexander Kolpakov
Fiscal Year: 2021


Final Scope


Micromobility vehicles and shared micromobility technologies (hereafter micromobility) are deploying rapidly in many cities across the United States and internationally. Lacking a standard definition, micromobility can include any small, personal transportation technology that travels slower than 20 to 30 mph (link to SAE doc). They can be motorized and are frequently operated on pedestrian- or bicycle-oriented infrastructure. Often, they are bicycles, e-bikes, or e-scooters. The rapid spread of micromobility has led to confusion and concern on the part of cities and states seeking to take advantage of the benefits of these devices while minimizing the negative impacts.


The objective of this synthesis is to document policies, permits, and practices that state departments of transportation (DOTs) are engaged with in regard to micromobility.


Information gathered includes (but is not limited to):

  • The role of DOTs with regard to micromobility, including coordination with metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and municipalities
  • State definitions of micromobility
  • DOT policies and regulations (e.g. permitting, enforcement, monitoring, public health, emergency management)
  • Challenges and opportunities regarding micromobility facing DOTs
  • Documentation of multi-department support required for the planning, operation, and maintenance of these systems (e.g. parking corals, geofences, on-street infrastructure, sidewalk-riding)
  • Infrastructure design standards and maintenance for micromobility
  • DOT approaches to using flexible regulatory language that covers future technological advancements (e.g. form factors) in micromobility
  • Policies and procedures regarding integration and competition between other mobility options, such as walking, private car, transit, transportation network companies (TNCs), and taxi services
  • Data collection, monitoring, and evaluation efforts conducted by and/or shared with DOTs (e.g. mobility data specification, crash data, injury data)
  • Policies regarding ensuring equitable access across issues such as digital and income divide, persons with disabilities, racial and cultural, spatial, temporal, language, and gender


Information will be collected through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples.  Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.


Information Sources (Partial):

·         Sandt, L. (2019) Dockless Electric Kick Scooter Systems: What We Know and Don’t Know. Paper presented at the 98th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

·         PBOT. (2020). 2019 E-Scooter Findings Report. Available from: https://www.portland.gov/transportation/escooterpdx/2019-e-scooter-report-and-next-steps.

·         Giambrone, A. Scooter and Bike Companies Say D.C.’s New Rules for Dockless Vehicles are too Restrictive. 2018 [cited 2019 Feb 14]. Available from: https://dc.curbed.com/2018/11/17/18098426/dc-scooters-dockless-bikes-rules-cap-pushback.

·         Shaheen, S., & Cohen, A. (2019). Shared Micromoblity Policy Toolkit: Docked and Dockless Bike and Scooter Sharing. UC Berkeley: Transportation Sustainability Research Center. https://dx.doi.org/10.7922/G2TH8JW7.

·         SAE (2019). Taxonomy and Classification of Powered Micromobility Vehicles J3194_201911. https://www.sae.org/standards/content/j3194_201911/.

·         Shaheen, S., Cohen, A., Broader, J., Davis, R., Brown, L., Neelakantan, R., & Gopalakrishna, D. (2020). Mobility on Demand Planning and Implementation: Current Practices, Innovations, and Emerging Mobility Futures. UC Berkeley: Transportation Sustainability Research Center. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/3hc6m2vj.

·         Shaheen, S., Cohen, A., Randolph, M., Farrar, E., Davis, R., & Nichols, A. (2019). Shared Mobility Policy Playbook. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/9678b4xs.

·         TCRP J-11/Task 37 [Active]. Transit and Micro-Mobility (Bikeshare, Scooter-share, etc.) https://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=4691.

·         Lazarus, J., Pourquier, J., Feng, F., Hammel, H., & Shaheen, S. (2020). Micromobility evolution and expansion: Understanding how docked and dockless bikesharing models complement and compete – A case study of San Francisco. Journal of Transport Geography, 84, 102620. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2019.102620.

TRB Staff
Leslie Harwood
Phone: 202-334-2312

Meeting Dates
First Panel: October 15, 2020 (Virtual)
Teleconference with Consultant: November 16, 2020 
Second Panel: July 13, 2021

Topic Panel

Christopher Cherry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Courtney Drummond, Florida Department of Transportation
Katherine Fichter, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Cynthia Jones, Ohio Department of Transportation
Susan Shaheen, University of California, Berkeley
Phillip Tindall, Texas Department of Transportation
Danielle Blackshear, Federal Highway Administration
Bernardo Kleiner, Transportation Research Board




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