Founder and COB
This week’s must-read micro-mobility news includes winter cycling in frigid Finland, an inspiring interview with a student who launched a campus micro-mobility program, a useful-as-heck website that ranks U.S. cities by various transportation options, a great playbook for cities wanting to develop effective micro-mobility solutions, and more. Let’s dive in!
It’s February, and we’re well aware that it’s cold outside in many parts of the world. But, even in northern Finland, it’s never too cold to ride your bike to school. Pekka Tahkola, a bike coordinator for the City of Oulu, Finland (population: 200,000 residents), posted several photographs of snowy Oulu school bike lots filled on days where temperatures were a frigid minus 17 C (about zero fahrenheit). One Tahkola photo shows a crowded lot on a day when 1000 of the school’s 1,200 students arrived by bike. So be like a dedicated Finnish student, and winter cycle!
College student Spencer Burton not only studies micro-mobility, he also began a campus ride sharing program. In this eye-opening Z Blog interview, Burton (a junior at The University of Central Arkansas, who’s also writing a thesis on micro-mobility), tells Zagster VP of Markets Adrian Albus the inspiring story of how he led a 5-month effort, working with students, administration, local town officials, and Zagster to launch a micro-mobility program for UCA’s more than 11,000 students.
We found a great website this week (built by North Carolina coder and bike enthusiast Dave Mabe) that lets anyone compare (and research) the latest data about the quality of transit options (public transit, cycling, car, walking) in different cities across the United States. For example, the top cities for public transit tend to be on the east coast (19 of the top 20), while the top cities for bicycling tend to be out west (14 of the top 20). Some of the bike-friendliest cities include: Boulder (CO), Palo Alto (CA), Berkeley (CA), Portland (OR), Cambridge (MA), Somerville (MA), and Key West (FL).
What makes a micro-mobility program “great”? Transportation for America, an alliance of elected, business, and civic leaders from across the country, offers a great playbook for shared micro-mobility. T4A’s website offers a new post explaining how cities can effectively manage shared micro-mobility services like dockless bikes and electric scooters, including some insights from Minneapolis and Santa Monica (CA). As the post says, “the exact costs that are being borne by cities to administer and manage [these new micro-mobility services] are not yet clear. In developing an overall fee structure, cities will need to think holistically to calculate the full and actual costs—including everything from staff time to software management platforms to daily operational needs to outreach and engagement.” As a vendor-agnostic micro-mobility company, we at Zagster help cities with this complex process, enabling them to reduce man hours and costs while providing safe and professional operations of the city’s e-mobility options.
Last but far from least, we had the pleasure of chatting this week with Jill Jerabek, one of Albuquerque’s bike share “power users.” A paralegal, Jill bikes into work every weekday, and then bikes home. She’s used her bike share to take over 400 rides since June, 2018, more than 2 rides every weekday. We’ll be sharing Jill’s amazing experiences in a Z Blog post next week, but wanted to share THIS: “I’m not just commuting on a bike, which takes me about the same amount of time as taking the bus, but I’m also exercising, releasing these calming endorphins, and being fully present with the landscape and my surroundings. When I show up to work, I’m calm and zen-like, which I might not be if I’d taken the bus or fought through morning traffic.”
Have a great weekend!