No two cities are the same, and each one has its own particular changes to make to achieve its climate goals. New York is making plans to become “spongier” to handle excess water. Panama City, Florida is transforming into a tree city, planting over 100,000 new trees, and Tel Aviv, Israel aims to lower its carbon emissions by lightening its heavy traffic.
And it’s doing this with scooters.
According to the Tomtom 2021 traffic index rating, Tel Aviv is the 16th most traffic-congested city in the world, but Mayor Ron Huldai’s ambition is to bring the metropolis into a future without cars or pollution. Tel Aviv is changing this by changing the mode of transportation, in what’s become known as micromobility.
Scooters have taken off in Tel Aviv, and the city is accommodating their growth in popularity by expanding bike paths to cover 350 kilometers by 2025.
Bird Global Inc. was the first e-scooter rental company to launch in Israel, starting with 2,500 rental e-scooters in Tel Aviv in August of 2018. Since then, there has been an influx of startups and tech professionals, many of whom prefer e-scooters for transportation. The Pandemic made people more apprehensive about public transportation, and soon more startups followed that rented out e-scooters. E-scooter manufacturer Inokim said that sales in Tel Aviv have increased seven-fold in the last five years to 7,000 e-scooters.
Many young professionals in the ever-increasing Israeli tech industry prefer an eco-friendly, fun way to get around, but e-scooters appeal to a wide variety of people in Tel Aviv.
“Sometimes it is the best solution,” says Michal Michaeli, in his forties, director of international economic development at Tel Aviv Global. “It is very convenient and easy.”
“City of the future?”
“Tel Aviv is like the city of the future,” says Bird’s regional general manager in Israel, Yaniv Rivlin. “It is a microcosm of how micromobility will look in years to come — a perfect way to get around a city.”
According to Bird, the increasing number of e-scooter riders has cut Tel Aviv’s emissions by an estimated 1,283 tons, which is around the same amount of carbon dioxide it sequestered every year with 55,000 trees.
Cities around the globe will boast an incredible variety in the future. The high commute rates in California might not see the removal of cars, but they will get to a point where most of them are electric. In Tel Aviv, it looks the din and honks of its gridlock will be replaced by the whir of e-scooters.