The Place for Micromobility
Since the very beginning, we’ve believed the future of mobility will require the integration of multiple types of vehicles in order to get people where they need to be in the simplest, most efficient way possible. A belief that’s been verified as we watch scooter and e-bike sharing growth outpace some of the largest ride-hailing companies. For carsharing companies to keep up, they need to start finding ways to incorporate scooters and e-bikes into their offering either directly or through partnerships with aggregators or scooter-sharing companies.
Washington, D.C., Grants Ridecell Scooter and E-Bike Sharing Permit
In late 2018, the local city government of Washington, D.C., granted Ridecell a permit for scooter and e-bike sharing. This permit allows us to take our platform to the rapidly growing micromobility space. The experience we gain working with the city of Washington, D.C., and the various partners required to launch a micromobility service, will ultimately allow us to help our customers harness the incredible momentum behind scooter and e-bike sharing.
Working with Washington
As with any early stage product, micromobility has had bumps along the road, including issues with irresponsible operators. As a result, many cities are favoring partners who make it a priority to contribute to their unique municipal goals. The Washington, D.C., permit represents our contribution to the city’s goal of establishing a sustainable, resilient, and livable place for its citizens. Our platform is uniquely suited to enable connectivity and accessibility throughout the District’s integrated, multi-modal and affordable transit system.
To be a responsible partner to the city, public consumers and our business customers, Ridecell is incorporating several platform capabilities as we begin to enable micromobility. These include the implementation of special pricing options for unbanked and under-resourced residents as well as the Active Fleet Management Tool that improves operational efficiency by dispatching operational field teams for fleet maintenance and by crowdsourcing actions for improperly parked vehicles and in response to resident complaints. Additionally, we plan to use in-app education and incentives to promote safe and responsible rider practices, including helmet use, staying off sidewalks and parking legally.
The Ridecell platform proposal also met municipal goals for a rich stream of real-time data for customers and partners. These data capabilities drive continuous transportation improvements and help optimize transportation infrastructure. The Ridecell platform also minimizes emissions and improves air quality by supporting dockless fleets and swappable batteries.
History of Partnerships
Our history of partnering with cities and universities proved incredibly useful as we approached the city of Washington, D.C., with a micromobility proposal. In 2009, we worked with Atlanta’s transit agency, MARTA, to bring ridesharing services to commuters throughout the city. In 2011, we facilitated a partnership between Georgia Tech and bikesharing pioneers Viacycle to integrate bikesharing and on-demand rides. In 2013, our partnership with the California Public Utilities Commission led to the creation and adoption of a regulatory framework that was later accepted by major ridehailing leaders like Uber and Lyft.
We believe this experience will continue to be helpful to our customers as they seek to secure regulatory permits from the cities they serve.
Mobility service requires more than a business platform and telematics connectivity, and micromobility is no different. To help our customers join this movement, our product team has developed a number of strategic partnerships in the space.
Through 2017 and 2018, we worked with the two-wheeler OEM, Genze. Their unique experience providing scooters for Scoot in San Francisco and e-bikes for other leaders will help us game the learning curve as we break into this space. Tier-1 auto-part leaders will enable sharing capabilities on off-the-shelf scooters by providing telematics. Insurance leaders will help guide us through the unknowns of this innovative landscape.
We’re also working with a series of partners to help us visualize these microservices and conduct ongoing public research and development to ensure we’re doing everything we can to optimize services for the end user. And, of course, we’ll be looking to partner with scooter-sharing operators and aggregators interested in consumer-facing partnerships who will work with us to bring micromobility to the masses.
In the coming months, we’re excited share our full micromobility roadmap and strategy designed to help all our partners enter this exciting space.
Author: Diptii Tiiku, Director of Corporate Marketing, Ridecell