ICYMI: The Week in Micro-Mobility, February 15th Edition

ICYMI: The Week in Micro-Mobility, February 15th Edition

by Timothy Ericson

There wouldn’t be a Zagster if it weren’t for Timothy Ericson. As Founder and Chief Business Officer, Timothy is responsible for growing Zagster and reshaping cities with its nifty microtransit solutions. Also, if you’re looking for a wine recommendation, he’s your guy.

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Tim Ericson

Founder & CBO

This week’s must-read micro-mobility news includes a blog post from our CEO Dan Herscovici, a thought-provoking take on bike equity from CityLab, an eye-opening survey explaining how micro-mobility solutions increase commercial real estate values, the announcement of a new private-public partnership to enhance bike equity in California, and more. Let’s dive in!

First, our CEO Dan Herscovici explains in this Zagster blog post how we help communities address transportation gaps (the first mile/last mile problem) and balance the interests and safety of riders, non-riders, and communities through operational excellence. As Dan writes, “At Zagster, we want to unlock the promise of micro-mobility for everyone, while addressing the new challenges that a shared program might potentially create.”

At Zagster, we want to unlock the promise of micro-mobility for everyone, while addressing the new challenges that a shared program might potentially create.
— Dan Herscovici, CEO Zagster

One of the many benefits of micro-mobility mentioned in Dan’s post is how it creates a more vibrant downtown area, helping community-members gain convenient access to places of business. A new survey from Cushman & Wakefield illuminates that positive impact, showing the connection between micro-mobility and the value of commercial real estate. Among the survey’s key takeaways is that densely-populated communities will increasingly adopt micro-mobility to address their ongoing traffic and parking problems. And we know micro-mobility adds value far beyond commercial real estate. To cite Minneapolis as one example, each ride in the program added more than $7 to the economy, and 95% of Nice Ride Minnesota users said the program made the Twin Cities “a more enjoyable place to live.”

Micro-mobility solutions can also make cities more equitable by enhancing access and connection for people underserved by public transit. As this recent CityLab article written by Anne Lusk explains: “Surveys show that the fastest growth in cycling rates since 2001 has occurred among Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American riders. But minority neighborhoods have fewer bike facilities, and riders there face higher risk of accidents and crashes.” Lusk calls on public policy makers to design systems that change “the rules of the road” in order to ensure bike equity.

Related to bike equity, Lyft has just announced that it’ll be investing in a free bike library and community parklets in Oakland, California. According to this TechCrunch article, “Lyft is donating $700,000 to TransForm, an organization focused on improving access to transportation in underserved areas throughout California.” Kudos to Lyft for sharing and caring about transportation equity.

Cities “need data to make sure mobility companies and their customers are in compliance. Cities can also use the data for planning and re-zoning based on usage statistics.
— Stephanie Kanowitz

At Zagster, we firmly believe that third party (or independent) operators add value to cities and mobility companies. Stephanie Kanowitz’s recent article illustrates this perfectly, explaining how shared micro-mobility data can help communities and program operators work smarter. Cities “need data to make sure mobility companies and their customers are in compliance. Cities can also use the data for planning and re-zoning based on usage statistics,” writes Kanowitz, while micro-mobility operators can use data to improve their services.

A new Forbes article explores what’s driving the strong growth of micro-mobility in Europe, detailing how different EU governments are considering a ban on gasoline and diesel cars within the next decade. They’re turning to micro-mobility and its smaller carbon footprint as an increasingly-attractive transportation option. “The growth of the micro-mobility and the e-scooter market is an essential piece of the puzzle in shifting towards sustainable mobility,” writes author Jennifer Kita-Powell.

Finally, Zagster chatted this week with Spencer Burton, a student at the University of Central Arkansas, who partnered with Zagster to set up a micro-mobility program at UCA. We’ll share all of Spencer’s insights in an upcoming Z blog post, but here’s his advice to college students seeking to set up micro-mobility programs: “you need to understand the problems your micro-mobility program solves and the opportunities it can provide. You’ll also need to get good at communicating your ideas to student government, university administration, and beyond. Finally, you’ll need determination and a supportive team to help make it happen.”

Have a great weekend!