News from the fleet management front, August 30th Edition

News from the fleet management front, August 30th Edition

by Dan Grossman

Dan has been at the forefront of the shared economy, leading shared mobility initiatives at Ford, General Motors and Zipcar. Dan burst onto the shared economy scene in 2009, introducing Zipcar to nearly 80 new markets (if you're wondering, Hawaii was the most challenging) and seeing the company through its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and acquisition by Avis. Dan then became a founding member of the leadership team for General Motors' mobility brand, Maven. His success at Maven led to his first stint at Chief Executive Officer at Chariot, Ford's app-based shuttle service. Since May 2019, Dan is leading the team at Zagster.

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Dan Grossman

CEO

In today’s newsletter, we’ll look at the popularity of e-scooters in cities like St. George (UT) and Asbury Park (NJ), the need for infrastructure to support scooter safety, the emergence of “mini-mobility” (and how Zagster’s vehicle-agnostic fleet management platform supports it), and more. 

Scooter Usage Growing

We’re pleased with the success of our fleet management platform in supporting multiple modes of micro-mobility in communities all around the nation. The St. George (UT) News recently published a feature-length article (with an embedded video) on the popularity of our new Spin e-scooter share in that fast-growing Utah city. In the article, St. George Mayor Jon Pike explains that “[city] officials like the fact that the new scooters are operated using Zagster, an easy-to-use platform for scooter sharing, as well as the unique terms of the company’s contract with the city.” The City earns $1 per scooter per day:  “We don’t have to pay them anything,” Mayor Pike said. “We just got our first quarterly check . . .It was about $40,000.” In the embedded video, Pike shows two locals how to safely ride a scooter, and talks about Zagster: “it’s been a really good partnership.” We’re proud to partner on fleet management solutions with local leaders like Mayor Pike to drive shared goals of better transportation options for all, rider safety, and higher revenues.

[I] was happy about the strong ridership numbers and said the e-scooters have helped to unite and connect portions of the city.
— Amy Quinn, Deputy Mayor, Asbury Park, NJ

Baby, Asbury Park was born to ride - and our recently-launched scooter program is Asbury Park (NJ) is helping residents and tourists in that community do so (Pardon my homage to The Boss)! .According to  the Asbury Park Press, ridership of the scooters is high, with about 800 rides per weekend day. Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn, said she “was happy about the strong ridership numbers and said the e-scooters have helped to unite and connect portions of the city.” Some Asbury Park residents have expressed concerns around scooter safety and, as a result, the city has reduced the speed limit for scooters from 15 mph to 12 mph. Like any new initiative in any community, a scooter program is a collaborative work-in-progress where city officials, local residents, scooter companies, and fleet managers work together to unlock the benefits of micro-mobility (such as the increased access and equity noted by Deputy Mayor Quinn) while carefully addressing concerns around safety and infrastructure. Strong relationships matter in micro-mobility: Zagster’s community-based fleet management platform (fueled by our great people, processes, technology and experience) serves to optimize benefits and mitigate risks for all. 

Safety and Infrastructure are Foundational to Growth 

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In building fleet management solutions, Zagster takes into account a city's infrastructure, environmental goals, existing regulations, socio-economic factors, and more. Our fleet management platform is flexible enough to accommodate different factors and goals from different partners. As this must-read Dataconomy post, Micromobility: What Does it Mean for the Future of Transportation, makes clear, building the future of transportation demands coordination and collaboration on developing complementary solutions. It isn’t either/or: we have nothing against owning a car, but want people to have the best option to meet their needs, which might not be owning a car. We work with communities to set up a holistic transportation system where riders can decide which option is best for them, depending on factors like length-of-trip, cost considerations, environmental impact, and beyond. As one transportation expert explains in the Dataconomy post: “A future in which scooters, cars, buses, etc. successfully coexist on the streets has the potential to create a better quality of life for people who live in the city.” At Zagster, we’re building our vehicle-agnostic fleet management platform in order to drive exactly this outcome -- more choices and better quality of life via micro-mobility.

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Mobility isn’t about the vehicle alone, as we’re well aware as a provider of fleet management solutions. It’s about fitting the vehicle into an ecosystem that includes supportive public infrastructure, wise regulation, strong partner relationships, rider needs, and more. As scooters spread around the nation, investment in infrastructure to support scooter adoption and safety is becoming more important. The title of a  Smart Cities Dive post highlights the problem: As Scooters Go Mainstream, Infrastructure Falls Behind. Author Jason Plautz begins with an overview: “it’s clear that scooter fleets are here to stay. What’s less clear is where those scooters are supposed to be ridden — and who's responsible for making that infrastructure safe.” Plautz cites multiple cities where the popularity of scooter programs has been coupled with concerns around safety. “As governments craft regulations that dictate where scooters can safely be ridden — sidewalks, streets or bike lanes — they are also now having to look whether existing infrastructure is good enough to handle them.” There are still no easy answers, but safety and infrastructure go together. Having a flexible playbook for micro-mobility, as Zagster offers with our customizable fleet management platform, seems like a great foundation to build upon.

Future Alert: Mini-Mobility is Coming

it’s clear that scooter fleets are here to stay. What’s less clear is where those scooters are supposed to be ridden — and who’s responsible for making that infrastructure safe.
— Jason Plautz

Last but far from least, Zagster has built proprietary software Wrangler and designed a fleet management solution that’s vehicle agnostic. Communities who work with us are future-proofing their investment because our platform can embrace any vehicle type. For example, mini-mobility is an emerging trend recently explored in Forbes. “Mini-mobility means very small and light vehicles that are halfway from a scooter to a car,” writes author Brad Templeton. “They are on 2-4 wheels and enclosed from the weather, but are narrow enough you can fit 2 or even 3 in a lane.” The benefits these smaller vehicles offer around reduced cost and environmental impact, when compared to cars, are immense. Having a vehicle agnostic platform, as Zagster does, enables cities to choose the innovative vehicles they want. Nobody knows what the future of mobility will look like, but Zagster’s fleet management platform can accommodate whatever is next. 

Thanks for reading, and have yourself a great Labor Day weekend!