As electric scooters blanket urban centers around the country, cities are grappling with how to regulate them, including Detroit. In the past few weeks, the city’s central business district has become host to the mobility option, reports Crain’s Detroit Business, with 300 scooters from both Los Angeles-based Bird and San Francisco-based Lime. Robert Hampshire, associate professor at the Ford School of Public Policy and research associate professor at U-M's Transportation Research Institute believes “there can be a role” for micromobility options in urban centers, but encourages “proactive steps” to get input from the community on guidelines for the scooters use and parking.
Dustin Walsh’s September 23, 2018 article “Are scooters a mobility solution?” weighs the opportunities and challenges of the latest last-mile mobility trend. Hampshire noted that scooters can help bridge a divide to often underserved areas by requiring companies to place scooters in multiple neighborhoods. "They can now say, 'If you want access to downtown and the core of the city, then you have to provide access to these other (low-income) places.'"
Robert C. Hampshire is an associate professor of public policy at the Ford School, a research associate professor in both the U-M Transportation Research Institute's (UMTRI) Human Factors group and Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS), and an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE).