Director, Market Management
In this week’s newsletter, I’ll update you on our amazing community partners in Kansas, Virginia, Ohio, Massachusetts and New Jersey. We’ll also explore how Google is literally putting micro-mobility on the map and take a look at how to ensure increased scooter safety. Let’s get this ride rolling!
News from Our Communities
Wichita (KS). Monday, July 15 saw the launch of 500 Spin scooters in Wichita, adding another mode of micro-mobility to the Kansas community’s existing bike share. “With these additional options we hope to provide more opportunities for local residents to leave their cars at home,” said Zagster CEO Dan Grossman. Local Wichita station KWCH 12 covered the launch event, producing a great news story (see video). In it, news anchor Rachel Skytta provides an in-studio demonstration of how to download the app and locate an e-scooter. She then goes outside, puts on a helmet, and takes a scooter ride. Zagster’s Senior Market Manager Karl Alexander even offers Rachel and on-air scooter safety tutorial. We’re proud to partner with the great folks in Wichita to offer multiple modes of micro-mobility.
Salem (MA). We’re not in Kansas anymore (sorry, Dorothy)! Zagster is also offering multiple modes of micro-mobility in historic Salem, Massachusetts. On Thursday, we launched 250 Spin scooters in Salem, adding to our popular bike share program there. In conjunction with the scooter launch, Zagster and the City of Salem hosted a two-day workshop on scooter safety. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll participated in the workshop, as did David Kucharsky, Salem’s Director of Traffic and Parking. Our own Tim Ericson, Greg Cameron, and (you guessed it!) Karl Alexander helped lead the workshop. We’re proud to be “still making history” in Salem!
Roanoke (VA). Our community partners at RIDE Solutions held their annual Poker Ride on Wednesday. As Tim Pohlad-Thomas of Ride Solutions described the event (on local TV station WFXR, see video), “we ride about 5.5 miles on our bikes to 5 different breweries and restaurants, stopping for drinks and snacks along the way.” As the bicyclists socialized over brews, each received one playing card per stop. At ride’s end, notes Pohlad-Thomas, prizes were given “to the best and worst poker hands, and we held a raffle for other great prizes too.” Who needs prizes when you can ride a bike, stop at great spots to drink and snack, and socialize?
Stark County (OH). U.S. libraries have moved beyond the book to offer free bikes, according to a U.S. News article. “Across the U.S., more than 20 public libraries have introduced special bikeshare programs, in which members take out bicycles from the library for free before returning them at the end of the day.” Zagster actually partners with one such library bike program in Stark County, Ohio, and it’s one of Zagster’s longest-running bike shares. Ohio libraries are pioneers in this trend, with 8 of the nation’s 20 existing “get a bike at the library” programs available in the Buckeye state.
Princeton (NJ). If you haven’t noticed, Karl Alexander gets around! Wednesday saw him giving a great speech at the Princeton (New Jersey) Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce's July Business Before Business Breakfast. Karl described how emerging technological innovation in the micro-mobility space is serving people and the communities they live in. He explained how community-based business models, such as Zagster's, can make communities more livable and economically viable for all residents. Instead of “moving fast and breaking things,” companies can take a collaborative approach that co-creates solutions with communities. Karl noted that Zagster likes to listen and learn before we act, which tends to lead to better solutions that leave everybody better off.
Other Micro-Mobility News
Google Maps is now displaying bike share locations for 24 global cities. As this terrific engadget post explains, “Google Maps will now show bike-sharing stations and display how many bikes are available at each one. Or, if you're using a bike and you need to return it, you can see whether there is an empty space at a nearby station.” U.S. cities covered include Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. Google says it will add more cities down the road. It’s great to have micro-mobility literally getting “put on the map” like this.
Finally, as our two-day scooter safety workshop in Salem (MA) makes clear, Zagster cares deeply about the safety of our users. Safety is foundational for micro-mobility’s growth. Our friends at CityLab, always a great source for news on urban mobility, posted a must-read article on why there’s been an increasing focus on scooter safety and how to drive more scooter safety, explaining that “[t]he biggest risk factors, the CDC found, were lack of helmet use, infrastructure issues like potholes and lack of protected lanes, and user inexperience and behavior—implicating cities, companies, and riders themselves.” This is why Zagster works hard to educate our users in safety and advocates for safety-supporting infrastructure in our communities.
Thanks for riding along, and have yourself a great (and safe) weekend!