In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the transportation industry, like most sectors is reviewing its fundamentals and devising new strategies to meet the changing needs of consumers and businesses. As the post-COVID-19 mobility landscape gets redefined, the health and safety of users have become paramount. Together with its partnering fleet operators, Ridecell came up with a series of responses to meet the urgent mobility needs of essential workers, and provide safe transportation methods during the worldwide shelter-in-place.
Adjusting to New Needs
In Paris, Renault and the ZITY Car Share teamed up with the Red Cross and local hospitals to provide vehicles to medical staff. Rather than using cars for the usual quick and short duration commutes, medical workers kept the vehicles for their entire shift, and ZITY’s maintenance teams ensured that the vehicles were cleaned and sanitized between users.
In another creative move, vehicles formerly zoned for airport pickups were re-purposed to transport essential medical supplies throughout the capital.
Back home in the Bay Area, fleet operators are finding ways to re-purpose their services too. GIG Car Share started Gig4Good, a service geared towards community-focused organizations that need vehicles to keep their critical operations afloat. The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano uses Gig cars to distribute resources, like meals and groceries, to individuals in need stranded at home. As ridehailing rides are in sharp decline worldwide for work, leisure, or errands, home deliveries, in contrast, have surged, and the ability to tap into these demand networks has been essential in
keeping fleets utilized.
These are just a few examples of how Ridecell has partnered with its customers to meet the continuous movement of people and goods during this time of crisis. But more adjustments will be required from the mobility industry, which will further test its resilience.
From Sharing Economy to Contactless
In our pre-COVID-19 world, mobility was focused on the Sharing Economy, from multiple passengers in pooled ride sharing, to free-floating car sharing and scooter services rented multiple times per day. But the COVID pandemic has brought forward the practices of social distancing and “contactless” that stand as the antithesis to sharing trends. Ridecell already provides contactless and keyless vehicle rentals — with users doing everything via smartphone, but other traditional fleets must adapt as well. A post-COVID world will require safe and sanitized transportation systems. Cars will need to be cleaned on a more frequent and thorough basis, something that the back of house operations will need to plan going forward.
Preparing for New Consumer Behaviors
As transportation and mobility providers prepare for the end of the ‘shelter in place’ restrictions, questions remain pertaining to how consumer transportation behavior will change post confinement. Will travelers opt for longer-term rentals or leases rather than riding public transportations or one-off ride sharing? Will vehicles have curtains and cleaning supplies readily available to the rider? Will home deliveries continue to dominate the consumer shopping landscape? All these questions and challenges will provide opportunities to rethink the mobility landscape and create new best practices.
Fleet operators can make the most of the Ridecell Fleet Operations tool, which leverages the business intelligence of vehicle usage and location to determine which cars need to be cleaned, by whom, and where they should be placed to maximize utilization.
Because the post-COVID-19 world is likely to be different, our mobility offerings will also need to evolve. From new service models to advancing operational practices, we are able to brainstorm models that can meet future consumer demands, remain profitable, and stand in line with the new standards of public health.
Author: Jessie Hubert, Strategic Account Manager