If you think you have no choice but to drive to and within the city, think again. Services like Beam Mobility are offering an alternative mode of transport that is convenient and ecologically more sustainable. The Beam e-scooters are a practical last mile commute for urban folk. And it’s not just for those who use public transport (i.e. MRT / LRT / buses), but for those who want to, or need to, travel a little further for lunch, or attend a meeting but don’t want to break out in sweat from walking. It also beats having to drive that little distance and save you from congestion as well as the hassle of looking for (and paying) parking.
Through its “Drive Something New Today” campaign, Beam Mobility is setting out to educate consumers on this alternative form of urban transport. The campaign will set out to demonstrate the key role its shared e-scooter service plays in solving the everyday issue of completing first and last mile journeys, especially with using public transport.
Beam has a mission to turn little drives into better rides, and make cities flow better for everyone. The e-scooters serve to fill a gap in the public transportation system by connecting people to transit points, popular destinations, and hot spots with ease and convenience. Though the bus service in the Klang Valley has improved in the last few years, and has become more predictable, there is still a way to go. Beam hopes to fill in such gaps and help to increase the use of public transport, and is not meant to be a substitute for public transportation.
The Beam e-scooter complements the existing public transport ecosystem for single-person travel within the city. As an example, your destination may only be a 10-minute ride on the e-scooter, but the bus doesn’t depart from the station for another 15 minutes. Thus, the Beam service becomes a convenient, more efficient way to travel. It is also a healthier way to move around, where the environment is concerned (you don’t have to do much other than ride in a proper manner). For every 10 km ridden on a Beam instead of a car, you can reduce 2.65 kg of CO2 emissions. Replacing a car with an e-scooter for short commutes can also effectively reduce congestion on the roads.
In a recent poll among micromobility riders in May 2022, almost 50% of the 1,800 Beam riders surveyed said that access to e-scooters for the “first or last mile” of a journey had made them more likely or much more likely to consider using public transport as an option for long journeys rather than using cars or ride-hailing services. This attitude flows into real behaviours as 77% of regular riders saying they always, usually, or sometimes use an e-scooter to connect to or from public transport.
“Beam’s e-scooters are built for convenience and to encourage people to opt for greener commutes within the city centre. With its growing availability in key transit points and destinations around the Klang Valley, the ability to quickly hop on and off an e-scooter to travel door-to-door in minutes gives Malaysians an easy and convenient solution to the first and last mile challenges of public transport usage. Moving between places that are too far for a comfortable walk, and too short a distance to drive, is solved with our e-scooters,” said Taty Azman, Head of Public Affairs, Beam Mobility Malaysia.
The surveys also illustrate how open people in Malaysian cities are to shared e-scooter services operating in their cities. Only about 9% of the 1,544 citizens surveyed said they felt some degree of negativity to the idea. This number halved once the safety features, convenience, and environmental benefits of shared e-scooters were explained to them.
Safety is a top priority for Beam, with the company deeply invested in the safety technology of its e-scooters. Underneath the Beam e-scooter’s sturdy aircraft-grade aluminium chassis is an efficient electric powertrain and a high-grade IoT (Internet of Things) communications device which works to ensure its riders’ safety and responsible operation. This enables features such as Beam’s proprietary virtual parking technology, which encourages proper use and return of e-scooters, while its speed-limiting technology (capped at 25km/h) keeps users from going too fast, even when riding downhill.
Furthermore, Beam e-scooters are equipped with geofencing technology to ensure its e-scooter riders stay within designated areas approved by local councils and regulators for micromobility vehicle use. This not only ensures the safety of the riders, but also pedestrians, and road vehicles. This also gives Beam the ability to identify inappropriate usage or placement of its scooters so that it can be rectified immediately. Additionally, the Beam e-scooters are fitted with batteries that are certified for fire safety.
Beam’s commitment to safety goes a step further with the mobility provider’s in-person flagship safety programme called the Beam Safe Academy. Meticulously curated and conducted by Beam’s certified instructors, the programme educates attendees on proper e-scooter usage such as safe parking methods, good riding habits, and local micro mobility laws. This looks to ensure the safety of not only Beam’s riders, but also for pedestrians and other vehicles around them.
“The added mobility of using a Beam e-scooter not only completes the first and last mile of a user’s journey, it is also a great way for one to explore the sights of a city as well. With Beam, and leaving your car behind, exploring your city becomes more accessible and convenient. It’s great for users whether you’re a local or tourist, and great for local businesses as well,” added Taty.
In addition, the Beam Booster programme is a platform that highlights local businesses through Beam’s proprietary virtual parking technology. This programme encourages Beam riders to make a pit-stop or end their journey in front of a Beam partner’s doorstep, thus generating interest and possible revenue for their business.
Aside from improving public transport connectivity and generating footfall for local businesses, Beam provides employment opportunities in the gig economy, in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan. As an MDEC e-Rezeki partner, Beam employs over 250 Malaysian gig workers as Beam Rangers to conduct important maintenance tasks on its high-technology e-scooters ensuring that Beam e-scooters are in tip-top condition for users.
Moving forward, following the recognition of micromobility as an essential part of the public transport framework in the 12th Malaysia Plan, Beam’s continued cooperation with federal agencies and local councils helps provide great insights on the development of pedestrian and micromobility-friendly infrastructure. This ensures that as e-scooter usage continues to boom, cities become more accessible while users, pedestrians, and motorists remain safe.
According to Beam Mobility, the company also strives to ensure that its e-scooters are as accessible and affordable as they can be for all Malaysians. The #BeamForAll campaign advocates for equitable access to transportation services, tailoring its prices to specific community segments, making them a viable option for first and last mile transportation in under-served areas.