Founder and CBO
It’s been a busy week in micro-mobility, especially here at Zagster. I’ll update you on Zagster first, and then move on to other news, including new research findings on biking as the “happiest” transportation option, how cities are using mobility data to make better transportation decisions, how one university is using its bike share program to reduce carbon emissions, and how new research reveals the intricacies of e-scooter economics. Let’s dive in!
On Tuesday, Zagster announced the launch of our micro-mobility operations platform, one that drives profitability for e-mobility providers by “offering turnkey market operations solutions that ensure fleet availability, efficiency and safety—all with a community-driven approach.” We believe our operations platform is a winner not just for Zagster, but for the entire micro-mobility space, including riders, non-riders, local businesses, communities, and e-mobility providers. Our CEO Dan Herscovici wrote a LinkedIn article this week explaining how. Now let’s look at the week’s other micro-mobility news!
Our friends at The University of Minnesota have just proven something we’ve known all along: cycling is the single happiest mode of transportation, and research data proves it. If you’re still not convinced, check out this amazing interview between our own Chris Dragotakes (Zagster’s Manager of Ride Services) and Albuquerque bike share power user Jill Jerabek. As Jill says of her daily commute, biking “gets you in a calmer, zen mindset where you’re connecting to the environment . . . I've found biking [to be] a fantastic and calming way to start my work day.”
As new micro-mobility services expand nationally, cities are increasingly using mobility data to drive safety, equitable access to transit, and efficiency. We found a great YouTube video this week in which Regina Clewlow, founder and CEO of Populus, discusses what mobility data is, how it’s collected, and how cities are leveraging it to support their transportation-related goals. If you need even more insights, Regina will also be speaking at the upcoming SXSW 2019 on March 9 about How Micro-Mobility Will Help Design Better Streets. At Zagster, sharing mobility data is just part of the value we help create.
The bike share program at Pennsylvania-based West Chester University serves a campus of more than 17,000 students. As this article from the college newspaper explains, the Zagster program also supports WCU’s ongoing efforts to "move the university towards climate neutrality.” WCU’s Dr. Jessica Schedlbauer, associate professor of biology and chair of the university’s sustainability advisory council, says that “besides reducing traffic congestion, the bike-share program offers a carbon-neutral mode of transportation, and thus reduces greenhouse emissions on [WCU’s] campus.” We’re proud to be helping!
Sustaining positive impacts (for people, planet, and communities) also means having a sustainable business model for micro-mobility. New research from advisory firm ARKInvest brings us deep inside the unit economics of e-scooters. As the in-depth article explains, e-scooter companies “have many ways to contain unit costs, among them: the cost of the scooter hardware, the cost of charging/relocating them, maintenance costs, and credit card fees, as well as higher utilization rates and longer lifespans.” Zagster knows that our best-in-class operations platform optimizing asset deployment and the lifetime value of e-mobility assets . . .
Speaking of the unit economics of e-scooters, having the right operational people in place matters a lot. When you hire employees/community-members who actually care about preserving assets, as we do at Zagster, you significantly extend the life (and value) of e-mobility assets. That’s a massive cost benefit for providers.
Bikeshare News posted a great article this week whose title alone had us nodding our heads in hearty agreement. The article, Why Quality of Service is Central for Shared Mobility Operators, includes one sentence that sums up Zagsters approach: “It starts with the quality of collaboration with the local authorities: in order to build a sustainable service, an operator has to work hand-in-hand with local stakeholders, to understand the needs, be integrated with the existing transit system, plan the development of the service, [and] share data.” B-I-N-G-O!
Have a great weekend!