Trends and challenges shaping European shared mobility

In the dynamic landscape of shared mobility, as revealed by the European Shared Mobility Index by Fluctuo, the third quarter of 2023 witnessed significant shifts and challenges spanning 33 European cities. A comprehensive analysis of the data underscores the evident transformations within the European mobility ecosystem. These changes were propelled by impactful factors, including scooter bans, the widespread adoption of tenders, and the emergence of new services.


Tenders shaping the landscape

One of the prominent trends shaping the shared mobility landscape is the influence of tenders. Tenders have played a pivotal role in reshaping the availability of shared vehicles, with cities like Rome and Madrid witnessing major shifts. In 2022, seven companies operated a total of 14,500 scooters in Rome. However, following the tender outcome in the summer of 2023, only Bird, Dott, and Lime were chosen to continue the scheme with a total fleet of 9,000 vehicles. In Madrid, successful tender bids led to the launch of scooter fleets by Dott, Lime, and TIER in 2023. Each company now manages 2,000 scooters, aiming to improve service quality and profitability. 

The impact is further magnified by the scooter ban in Paris, where 15,000 scooters were removed from streets, contributing to a slight fall in the overall number of shared vehicles across the 33 cities.

As we look forward to 2024, the report suggests that tenders will continue to play a crucial role in defining the European mobility landscape.


Shared mobility performance highlights

Despite a marginal decrease in the number of shared vehicles on the streets, anecdotal feedback from operators indicated a successful summer for shared mobility. The data supports this claim, showing a 1% increase in ridership compared to 2022 levels, despite a 2% reduction in the number of vehicles.

Dockless bikes emerged as a major contributor to global ridership, experiencing a remarkable 44% increase, outpacing fleet growth at 12%. Shared car ridership also demonstrated steady growth, aligning with a 26% increase in fleet size. However, scooters and mopeds experienced negative growth in both fleet sizes and ridership, shedding light on challenges faced by these modes.


Bike boom across European cities

The bike-sharing landscape is flourishing, particularly in cities like Paris, London, Copenhagen, and Antwerp. Dockless¹ bike fleets have grown by 12%, nearly matching the number of station-based² bikes. Dockless bike sharing is considered the most cost-effective and convenient choice, allowing users to park them in any public space without the need for administrative investments in docks. This contributes to users' preference for this service. However, while they have higher fleet numbers, station-based bikes maintain superior utilisation rates, recording 3.6 trips per vehicle per day compared to 2.1 for dockless bikes. Inurba Mobility's deployment of dockless bike scheme Mevo in Tri-City (Gdańsk, Gdynia & Sopot) will stand out as a significant development, once rollout is complete, introducing 3,150 electric bikes and 1,050 mechanical bikes to the market. 

Despite the overall positive trends in bike sharing, there were setbacks, such as the shutdown of Stockholm eBikes partly due to safety issues related to fragile bike frames. However, Ridemovi swiftly stepped in to fill the gap by offering a dockless electric bike service. These instances highlight the importance of addressing safety concerns to ensure the sustainability of shared mobility services.


Scooter resilience amid challenges

Despite a 9% reduction in fleet sizes across 33 cities, shared scooters defied challenges, showcasing robust performance in cities like Antwerp, Bordeaux, Oslo, Tallinn, and Frankfurt. However, exits and reductions in fleet sizes in Seville and Madrid impacted ridership negatively. As Brussels and Berlin anticipate further reductions in scooter fleets, a temporary dip in ridership is expected.


Moped market challenges and opportunities

The moped market faces challenges with exits in cities like Barcelona, Milan, and Madrid, leading to a decline in ridership. Unlike scooters, moped fleets are reduced due to lack of investments/low profits. Paris, considered a lucrative market, poses financial challenges for moped operators, emphasising the need for cities to create favourable conditions for their success.


Shared car ridership continues to soar

Shared car ridership remained consistently high for the second consecutive quarter, showcasing impressive usage in 2023. The introduction of services like Bolt Drive in Riga and Miles Mobility in Antwerp contributed to growth, while Brussels experienced increased ridership and expanded vehicle fleets.

German cities continue to dominate total shared car trips per city, with Berlin witnessing a 30% growth in shared cars on the streets compared to the previous year.


As the European shared mobility landscape evolves, operators face both opportunities and challenges. Tenders, mergers, and acquisitions will continue to shape the industry in 2024. The bike-sharing boom and resilient scooter performance underscore the adaptability of the market, while the moped market faces financial hurdles. Shared car usage remains robust, with new entrants contributing to the growth.

In navigating this dynamic landscape, operators must adapt strategies to address safety concerns, capitalise on emerging opportunities, and collaborate to overcome financial challenges, ensuring the continued success of shared mobility across European cities.

1. Bicycles that can be rented for a short period of time and left in any public space once the user has finished with it. 

2. Bicycles that have docks and allocated space in the public area. 


European Shared Mobility Index by one of EIT Urban Mobility trusted startups, Fluctuo, provides key stakeholders with the most exhaustive, accurate data on the market to accelerate the growth of shared mobility.


By Mobility Innovation Marketplace team.

Published on 14 February, 2024.