Exploring the benefits of minimobility in the urban context: The case of central Stockholm





micromobility, electric vehicles, ridesharing, operational efficiency, transit


Over the past decade, there has been rapid growth in the development and infusion of new and disruptive transportation. Some of the pivotal emergent technologies range from micro-mobility and bikeshare to ridesourcing that is set to utilize automated vehicles. This paper introduces and defines minimobility that falls between a regular ridesourcing/taxi option and micromobility, and also providing critical logistics services during the era of COVID-19. In Central Stockholm the platform has provided a safe and environmentally friendly mode choice that occupies limited space and efficiently serves on the congested city network. We explore potential economic and environmental benefits of minimobility, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of deploying such a service. While we demonstrate a general increase in VMT, consistent with other work showing increased travel from new mobility, due to the electric platform this increase in customer access to mobility results in minimal GHG impacts. This informs how planners and engineers can explore minimobility platforms not only as reduced emissions solutions to urban transit issues but as tools to increase total mobility particularly for the most vulnerable.

Author Biography

William Riggs, University of San Francisco

William (Billy) Riggs, Ph.D., AICP, LEED AP is an assistant professor at University of San Francisco and researcher, strategist and thought leader in the areas of transportation, housing, economics, and emerging technology. He has over 50 publications in these areas, and has had his work featured in multiple national media outlets—including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the Atlantic. Prior to coming to University of San Francisco, Dr. Riggs held additional academic appointments in city planning, policy and public administration from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Jose State University and the University of Louisville. In addition to this academic experience, he worked as a land use and transportation planner, asset manager and economist for over 15 years. Highlights include work as: Principal Planner and Parking and Transportation Program Manager for UC Berkeley; a Senior Planner for the consulting firm Arup where he worked on the environmental and land use planning of over 5,000 acres of former military land in Concord, CA and completed certification of two pilot LEED Neighborhood Design projects; a planner for the US Coast Guard conducting award winning physical design and mobility planning for Coast Guard bases domestically and abroad. Dr. Riggs holds his PhD from UC Berkeley’ s College of Environmental Design, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow and a University of California, Transportation Center Fellow. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), is LEED certified by the US Green Building Council (LEED AP). From 2013-2017 he served on the City of San Luis Obispo, Planning Commission. In addition to his teaching and research role at University of San Francisco, he currently sits on the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Transportation Economics, provides contributions and strategy to Planetizen.com and OppSites.com and consults with Sustinere Consulting.


Airbib, J., & Seba, T. (2017). Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030: The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the Internal-Combustion Vehicle and Oil Industries. (RethinkTransportation). RethinkX.

Anderson, D. N. (2014). “Not just a taxi”? For-profit ridesharing, driver strategies, and VMT. Transportation, 41(5), 1099–1117.

Anderson, J. M., Nidhi, K., Stanley, K. D., Sorensen, P., Samaras, C., & Oluwatola, O. A. (2014). Autonomous vehicle technology: A guide for policymakers. Rand Corporation. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=y0WrAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Autonomous+17+Vehicle+Technology:+A+Guide+for+Policymakers.&ots=-6K7e4NENQ&sig=ZeCAbm066Tpr_gG3A7q1CueUmb4

Appleyard, B., & Riggs, W. (2018). “Doing the Right Things” Before “Doing Things Right": A Conceptual Transportation/Land Use Framework for Livability, Sustainability, and Equity in the Era of Autonomous Vehicles. Transportation Research Board 97th Annual MeetingTransportation Research Board, Washington, D.C. https://trid.trb.org/view/1496858

Banister, D. (2008). The sustainable mobility paradigm. Transport Policy, 15(2), 73–80.

Circella, G., & Alemi, F. (2018). Chapter Five—Transport Policy in the Era of Ridehailing and Other Disruptive Transportation Technologies. In Y. Shiftan & M. Kamargianni (Eds.), Advances in Transport Policy and Planning (Vol. 1, pp. 119–144). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.atpp.2018.08.001

Clewlow, R. R., & Mishra, G. S. (2017). Disruptive Transportation: The Adoption, Utilization, and Impacts of Ride-Hailing in the United States.

Gehrke, S. R., Felix, A., & Reardon, T. G. (2019). Substitution of Ride-Hailing Services for More Sustainable Travel Options in the Greater Boston Region. Transportation Research Record, 0361198118821903. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361198118821903

Goldman, T., & Gorham, R. (2006). Sustainable urban transport: Four innovative directions. Technology in Society, 28(1), 261–273. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2005.10.007

Greenblatt, J. B., & Saxena, S. (2015). Autonomous taxis could greatly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions of US light-duty vehicles. Nature Climate Change, 5(9), 860–863. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2685

Hall, J. D., Palsson, C., & Price, J. (2018). Is Uber a substitute or complement for public transit? Journal of Urban Economics, 108, 36–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jue.2018.09.003

Hampshire, R., Simek, C., Fabusuyi, T., Di, X., & Chen, X. (2017). Measuring the Impact of an Unanticipated Disruption of Uber/Lyft in Austin, TX (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 2977969). Social Science Research Network. https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2977969

Lyons, G., & Urry, J. (2005). Travel time use in the information age. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 39(2–3), 257–276.

McKenzie, G. (2019). Spatiotemporal comparative analysis of scooter-share and bike-share usage patterns in Washington, D.C. Journal of Transport Geography, 78, 19–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2019.05.007

Noland, R. B., & Polak, J. W. (2002). Travel time variability: A review of theoretical and empirical issues. Transport Reviews, 22(1), 39–54.

Pucher, J., & Dijkstra, L. (2000). Making walking and cycling safer: Lessons from Europe. Transportation Quarterly, 54(3), 25–50.

Rayle, L., Dai, D., Chan, N., Cervero, R., & Shaheen, S. (2016). Just a better taxi? A survey-based comparison of taxis, transit, and ridesourcing services in San Francisco. Transport Policy, 45, 168–178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2015.10.004

Riggs, W. (2019). Disruptive Transport: Driverless Cars, Transport Innovation and the Sustainable City of Tomorrow. Routledge.

Riggs, W., Appleyard, B., & Johnson, M. (2019, January). A Design Framework for Livable Streets in the Era of Autonomous Vehicles. Proceedings of the 98th Annual MeetingTransportation Research Board. Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

Schaller, B. (2017). Unsustainable? The growth of app-based ride services and traffic, travel and the future of New York City. Report by Schaller Consulting, Brooklyn NY.

Shaheen, S. (2018). Shared Mobility: The Potential of Ridehailing and Pooling. In Three Revolutions (pp. 55–76). Springer.

Shaheen, S., & Chan, N. (2016). Mobility and the Sharing Economy: Potential to Facilitate the First-and Last-Mile Public Transit Connections. Built Environment, 42(4), 573–588.

Sperling, D. (2018). Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future. Island Press.

Underwood, S. E. (2014). Disruptive innovation on the path to sustainable mobility: Creating a roadmap for road transportation in the United States. In Road Vehicle Automation (pp. 157–168). Springer.

Urry, J. (2003). Social networks, travel and talk. The British Journal of Sociology, 54(2), 155–175. https://doi.org/10.1080/0007131032000080186




How to Cite

Riggs, W., & Shukla, S. (2021). Exploring the benefits of minimobility in the urban context: The case of central Stockholm. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 14(1), 1019–1037. https://doi.org/10.5198/jtlu.2021.1955