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Our Story in Quito, Ecuador

Quito: Making Strides in Gender-Inclusive Urban Mobility

The SOLUTIONSplus project is proud of the progress made towards gender inclusion in Quito's urban mobility. We saw women in key leadership roles, from international coordination and local management to technical positions in vehicle production and operations. This commitment to incorporating women across the board is commendable and paves the way for a more equitable transportation landscape for everyone.

However, we acknowledge there's room for improvement. In our initial phases, data wasn't collected to differentiate the experiences of women and men. This makes it difficult to assess if our solutions benefit all genders equally. We've also identified areas where project reports used masculine language and some training programs lacked gender parity.

The SOLUTIONSplus project concludes in June 2024, but our commitment to gender equality continues!

We're building on these lessons learned to inform future initiatives like E-MOVILIZA and eMOB. Here's how we're moving forward:

  • Centering Gender Data: From the very beginning of future projects, we will collect gender-disaggregated data. This will allow us to understand how our solutions impact different demographics and ensure inclusivity.

  • Inclusive Language Matters: We recognize the importance of using inclusive language in all communication. We're exploring the possibility of creating a dedicated workshop to raise awareness and best practices.

  • Attracting and Retaining Women: We will implement strategies to attract and retain women and non-binary people in all aspects of our projects. This will ensure a diversity of voices and perspectives in shaping Quito's future mobility solutions.

Our Initiatives in Quito

SOLUTIONSplus has been working on several components in Quito to promote electric mobility and a more sustainable transportation system. Here's a glimpse of what we've accomplished:

 

Promoting Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) for Last-Mile Logistics:

The pilot initiative within SOLUTIONSplus aimed to assess the technical, operational, and financial viability of utilizing Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) for last-mile deliveries in Quito's Historic Center. This area presents unique challenges due to its pacified and pedestrian streets. The project saw LEVs as a potential solution to improve air quality, reduce noise and emissions, and preserve heritage.

SOLUTIONSplus, in collaboration with various partners, provided seed funding for the manufacturing of different types of LEVs to be deployed in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Deployed 10 electric bike-loaders of three different models, manufactured by BIXI-CARGO.

  • Phase 2: Included the deployment of electric quadricycles manufactured by SIDERTECH.

  • Phase 3: Entailed deploying electric mini vans manufactured by MTEC S.A. (Miral Group).

 

Through these phases, the project sought to demonstrate the practicality and benefits of LEVs in enhancing urban logistics and sustainability.

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Picture: E-cargo bikes in Quito

Project Implementation Overview:

The first phase, implemented in Quito's historic city center, involved:

  • Seed funding for local vehicle design

  • Establishment of a cross-docking platform

  • Creation of an intermodal corridor

  • Logistics recommendations

  • Pilot testing 

The project aligned with the city's broader objectives of promoting sustainable, zero-emission urban spaces.

  • Supporting Local Manufacturing: The project supported three startups in manufacturing 3 different models of electric cargo bikes, providing technical assistance in design and performance testing.

  • Logistics and Policy Recommendations: The project collaborated on designing an intermodal corridor, offered policy recommendations, and contributed to Quito's micro-mobility draft ordinance.

  • Operational Schemes: Phase 1 included four operational schemes involving seven logistics operators and a collaborative cross-docking platform. These schemes supported deliveries from markets, freight journeys, courier services, and recycling associations.

  • Charging and Rest Points: A designated cross-docking point and rest area were established at the Medranda parking lot to support the electric cargo bikes.

Phase 1 Results:

The successful testing of 10 electric cargo bikes demonstrated positive impacts on:

  • Working conditions

  • Efficiency gains

  • Operational benefits

Key Results:

  • Visited 154 collection points

  • Made 229 trips

  • Collected 16 tons of cargo

  • Delivered 956 packages (with an efficiency of 10 packages per work hour)

  • Traveled 1,071 kilometers in the historic center

  • Achieved an emissions reduction potential of 491.74 kilograms of CO2 equivalent

Challenges and Learnings:

  • One female driver had a rollover accident during the pilot. While the project continues to investigate the cause, it highlights the importance of considering diverse user needs in future designs and training.

  • Five out of seven operators rated the solution as excellent

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Picture: Intermodal corridor

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Picture: Operating Schemes

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