Since its launch in early 2021, Swedish e-scooter parking patrols have become an appreciated feature among both cities and their communities, making streets safer and more accessible. It all began with an idea to combine intercultural diversity with new parking solutions, as the Nordic Micromobility Association (NMA) was looking to address incorrectly parked scooters.
New way to tackle incorrectly parked scooters
Parking patrols were first launched in February 2021 as a joint effort between the NMA, leading micromobility operators including ourselves, Bird, Bolt, Lime, Superpedestrian and Tier, and the recruitment and staffing agency Just Arrived, which focuses on matching intercultural talents with progressive companies on the Swedish labour market.
Just Arrived was founded in 2015, as a clear result of the refugee crisis, with a mission to facilitate inclusivity in the Swedish human resources sector, especially when it comes to hiring those who have relocated to Sweden.
For us at Voi and the other operators, our drive to support parking patrols emanated from something else: a commitment to reduce the amount of incorrectly parked scooters. Shared e-scooters are still a new and, in many ways, disruptive form of mobility. Indeed, while they offer great potential to change the way we get around, new means of transport come with new challenges for any town or city’s infrastructure. We identified early on that with inexperienced users and a poorly adapted infrastructure, one challenge for shared scooters would almost definitely be parking. It was on the backdrop of this that the NMA first reached out to Just Arrived.
Image: Michael Batha and Bereket Negasi are two of the Parking Patrols working for Nordic Micromobility Association in Stockholm, Sweden.
Less clutter, more accessible cities and new job opportunities
When the initiative launched on 1 February 2021 the parking patrols consisted of four attendants in Stockholm, two in Gothenburg, two in Malmö and one in Uppsala, patrolling city centres eight hours a day, seven days a week. Just Arrived helped staff the project with their pool of intercultural talents. After a successful couple of months, during which time more e-scooters came onto the streets in the build-up to peak season, the scope of the project was expanded to a total of 32 parking attendants throughout Sweden.
At Voi we support job opportunities with sustainable and fair conditions, as part of our roadmap towards equity and inclusion in the micromobility sector. With the help of Just Arrived, the parking patrols are able to offer a stepping stone into the Swedish labour market for many people. Michael Batha, who is working as a parking attendant in Stockholm, says:
“I really enjoy being there and working – to fix things and get a good positive response from many people. Especially older people. They always say ‘Bra jobbat, bra jobbat!’ (Good job, good job!). It encourages me, because I feel like I am doing a great job.”
Sofi Fridland, CEO at Just Arrived, says:
“It’s been such an important collaboration for us. Not only because 2020 was a tough year for many of our candidates and because we are able to offer so many great talents a full-time position – but also since it gives us the chance to work with other sustainable-thinking companies. More so, this collaboration does not only help to integrate talent on the labour market; it also helps the city centres to get better accessibility while also contributing to a greener planet.”
Image: Sofi Fridland (CEO) and Ida Beckman (Operations manager) from Just Arrived, a recruitment and staffing agency focused on matching intercultural talents with progressive Swedish companies.
Taking a holistic approach to sustainability
ar äVoi is committed to all pillars of sustainability, environmental, cultural, economic and social. We believe that the parking patrols initiative is exemplary in that it interconnects all of the pillars. Micromobility creates not only greener and more environmentally friendly towns and cities, but also transforms them into more liveable, inclusive and vibrant places. In addition, the parking patrols have demonstrated significant social benefits. It’s a win-win, because we are also seeing significant improvements in parking, as the patrol takes care of scooters that are clustered in one place, badly parked or have fallen to the ground.
As we look ahead, we expect the parking patrol to continue on its positive trajectory and become even more relevant. For, as we see it, social inclusivity, creating job opportunities and making cities more environmentally friendly are unlikely to become any less important anytime soon.