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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- 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
- 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
- RSG127: Tarani Duncan on Mobility Lessons Learned from Early Bikeshare Days
- @VickersBikes on Twitter
- Anyone Feel Like Saving Electric Scooters?
If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.