ICYMI: This Week in Micro-Mobility, June 21st Edition

ICYMI: This Week in Micro-Mobility, June 21st 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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Timothy Ericson

Founder and CBO

Summer officially begins today, so it’s a great time to get outdoors on two wheels. This week’s news in micro-mobility includes an analysis from “Wired” on the massive potential ahead for micro-mobility, a Zagster-supported bike launch in Oregon’s gorgeous capital city (Salem, for those not geographically-inclined), an upcoming e-scooter safety webinar, how artificial intelligence is being integrated into micro-mobility, and much more. Let’s get rolling!

The booming micro-mobility space still has much room to grow. A new Wired article explains that the space could be valued at $900 billion within a decade. It also mentions that 60% of all car rides are below 6 miles, meaning they could be easily replaced by less expensive, more environmentally-friendly micro-mobility (especially of the shared variety). Wired even compares the space’s potential to the explosive growth of the iPhone: “Micromobility holds similar potential. The industry will spawn new business models, software platforms, subscription fees, and product ecosystems. All this will enable increased productivity, a reduction in emissions and air pollution, and massive savings in time and fuel.” Absolutely right, Wired, but what’s with the title of this glowing, pro-micro-mobility story? “Is American Micromobility a Bust?” The answer is “no way!” Love the coverage of our space, but let’s have fewer head fakes in the headlines!

Our friends in beautiful Salem, the state capital of Oregon, will be launching a new bike share tomorrow. Ride Salem, founded by the amazing Jenna and Evan Osborne, is partnering with Zagster to make it happen. Zagster’s market manager Stacy Sebeczek discussed the launch with Jenna and Evan this week -- you can read all about it in a new ZBlog post coming Monday. Evan Osborne made us so proud when he told Stacy: “I know lots of people who can't ride a typical cruiser bicycle, so offering them a hand cycle or a trike or a recumbent bike, as Zagster allowed us to do, mattered a great deal. Having those options just pulled at our heartstrings . . . Zagster also offers multiple modes of mobility. Many folks are excited about e-scooters, and we can satisfy that clientele in the future by incorporating e-scooters, creating a whole multi-modal micro-mobility system.” We’re honored to be working with Evan and Jenna on behalf of the great folks in Salem, Oregon!

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Interested in the latest research on e-scooter safety? Safety is always among our top priorities at Zagster. You can watch a great live webinar on Tuesday (June 25) from Noon to 1 pm EST sponsored by our partners at the North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA). You’ll hear from researchers who’ve conducted two preliminary studies on shared e-scooter safety, one by the CDC and Austin (TX) Public Health looking at ridership in Austin, and another by researchers at UCLA on ridership in Santa Monica (CA). Additionally, there will be an overview of the many actions cities have been taking across the US to address scooter safety concerns. Why not sign up now (via the link above) and watch on Tuesday!

Great employees are essential for Zagster’s business model (we offer operational excellence to our community partners). Our Director of People Operations, Kyla Hanaway, in a ZBlog post from this Wednesday (How Hiring and Training Processes Enable Our Operations-as-a-Service Model), discussed exactly how Zagster recruits, hires, and trains high-performing teams whenever and wherever we launch new programs: “Though we are always working against the clock to get a team fully staffed, we never cut corners on the interview process,” Kyla says. “We leverage a variety of behavioral interviewing techniques in addition to the standard skills evaluation. This allows us to shape a team that has the aptitude and attitude to help us be successful.”

Operators need an intelligent foundation for delivering the next-generation of micro-mobility and offering new user experiences.

Finally, artificial intelligence is one of today’s hottest technologies, and it’s having an big impact on micro-mobility operations. A new SmartCitiesWorld post, AI Helps Boost Usability of Micro-Mobility Schemes, explains how AI is driving efficiency: “Operators need an intelligent foundation for delivering the next-generation of micro-mobility and offering new user experiences. The ones that will be successful will be armed with new intelligence, data visualisation, real-time decision-making, optimized resources and have the freedom to grow and innovate.” We use AI, for example, to identify historical patterns in data from high-use areas, so we can deploy the right vehicles in the right place at the right times (of high-demand). That AI-supported capacity to optimize our vehicle deployments serves everyone’s best interests.

Thanks for coming along for this week’s ride, and enjoy your first weekend of summer 2019!