Contents:

3 min read

    3 min read

    While it’s impossible to predict when or how the pandemic will end, one thing is for certain: things will change! This could be an important time to reset some aspects of transportation and micromobility. However, micromobility could also be one of the hardest-hit sectors of transportation. Is this a death sentence for the industry? We’ll delve into it in this week’s podcast.

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    Intro

    • Today I’m talking with Alex Vickers, who has over a decade in the micromobility space
    • Micromobility-focused episode in the time of the coronavirus
    • Micromobility should be well poised to take advantage of the recovery
    • We’ll cover the parallels between micromobility in the 1800s and today, plus issues facing the current micromobility industry

    Intro to Alex Vickers

    • Alex is passionate about decarbonizing transportation and using micromobility to mitigate climate change
    • Decade in the mobility space, launched many projects at companies like Uber, JUMP, Motivate
    • Has presented at a number of conferences and runs a monthly newsletter on urban mobility called Draisienne
    • Grew up in the biking industry – claim to fame is Biketown in Portland, OR

    Challenges Facing Micromobility Pre-Pandemic

    • Chances for companies to be bought up – seen as “deals” for bigger players
    • Two-year long cycle of consolidation
    • Big revenue drop in the mobility space since the pandemic began

    Affect of the Pandemic on Micromobility

    • Very tourist-focused business, those challenges can affect revenue
    • Rides and revenue in almost all aspects of transportation have declined
    • Many companies announced shutting down operations or at the least pulling back
    • Companies trying to pivot in order to continue bringing in revenue

    What Will Be the New Normal for Micromobility?

    • Cheap gas prices is a challenge right now
    • Are people worried about getting in cars or buses with strangers?
    • Direct-to-consumer-owned model would help the micromobility industry
    • Would alleviate consumer fear
    • Really depends on how long the shutdown lasts! What is the ‘new normal’?

    Cities’ Responses to the Pandemic

    • Some cities are really moving forward with this – shutting down streets to car traffic
    • Making lanes more friendly to micromobility (bikes) and pedestrians
    • Could this lead to improved street management? More opportunities for micromobility
    • Cities like Oakland, Portland are models

    Should Cities Subsidize Micromobility?

    • First, industry wanted to shift away from public money
    • Now it seems like the industry realizes it could use some of those partnerships, grants
    • If government wants to fund a Green New Deal, whatever it looks like, it could be a good opportunity
    • Would focus on the in between e-bike/moped – regulated like a car-sharing service and so it’s simpler as a company

    Outro

    • Big thanks to Alex for coming on the show! Learned so much about the micromobility industry, where it’s going, etc.
    • Love bringing on guests who are so knowledgeable and helpful – reach out to Alex if you have more questions, too!
    • Very passionate about the space

    Show Notes

    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

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    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.