IN A bid to encourage car-free journeys among young people, Beam Mobility has partnered with several Malaysian universities to make Beam’s escooters available for use on various campuses across the country.
With support from Urbanice Malaysia, Beam is now available in nine university campuses: Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Perak, Terengganu and Sabah, International University of Malaya-Wales, EduCity Iskandar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Universiti Malaysia Pahang.
More universities are expected to adopt Beam escooters this year. Currently, more than 1,000 rides are completed at Malaysian universities daily.
“We aim to reduce the consumption of space taken up by cars by having more escooters on the ground, and strategically placing them in places that are convenient and accessible.
“Escooters take up way less parking space than cars, and that allows us to tackle the issue of limited carpark spaces within the campus,” said Beam Mobility Malaysia general manager Justin Tiew in a statement.
With Beam’s shared escooters at key locations in and around these campuses, students can ride anywhere safely in minutes without having to start a car or seek parking spaces.
Moreover, at an affordable pay-as-you-go rate of 60sen per minute, it is a more cost-effective transport mode for students in the short and long-term.
At EduCity Iskandar, Asia’s first multi-campus education city, Beam’s escooters are actively used by students from nine different universities across its 123ha campus, swiftly connecting people to each of their integrated shared facilities such as the state-of-the-art sports complex (EduCity Sports Complex), an innovative social and coworking space (EduCity Hub), start-up incubation space (FastSpace) and student accommodation buildings (EduCity Village).
While this greatly improves student mobility, the escooter usage also reduces on-campus car dependency and carbon emissions.
“We hope that with this new offering, our community can enjoy the ecosystem and ideal campus lifestyle that EduCity offers,” said EduCity Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd operations director Prof Dr Sakina Sofia Baharom.
The introduction of Beam’s shared escooters in universities is an example of the micromobility service provider’s efforts to alleviate some of the pressures of car ownership on students and young adults.
A public survey conducted by Beam involving 1,008 people found that more young Malaysians are turning away from cars due to the rising costs of ownership and increasing traffic congestion.
According to the Statistics Department, Malaysians spend an average of RM611 per month on transportation alone and lose almost two whole days (44 hours) every month by being stuck in traffic.
The cost of time and money weigh especially heavily on a student’s shoulders and as a result, a growing number of them are looking towards alternative modes such as public transportation to help them get around.
However, taking public transport can be challenging and time consuming.
First and last-mile connectivity leaves much to be desired, and with most Malaysians living more than a 30-minute walk from the nearest convenient public transport connection, many default to cars for its ability to take them most of the way, in the same amount of time.
Beam’s escooters would be able to fill these connectivity gaps with ease, turning a 30-minute walk into five to 10-minute escooter rides, resulting in significantly reduced commute times when using public transport, said Tiew.
In fact, responses from Beam’s public survey indicate that Malaysians are willing adopters of shared escooters, with 76% of 670 car-commuting users saying they would “definitely” or “probably” switch to a combination of escooters and public transportation if they had access to them.
More encouragingly, 26% of respondents from this group added that they “currently own a car, but would be more likely to sell it” if shared escooters were readily available.