Andreas Sandre

@andreas212nyc

2019 will be the year of scooters and micromobility

A lot is happening in the mobility industry and more players are emerging.

“We have this deeply ingrained car culture in the US that we have to challenge in multiple ways to really get at the heart of it,” said Lyft bike, scooter, and pedestrian policy Caroline Samponaro to Fast Company.

The company, that recently entered the bike and electric scooter sharing business, is slowly rolling out a new integration of public transit in its app. As Fast Company pointed out, the new offering doesn’t have any direct financial benefit for the company. “But it sees it as a key part of its vision of moving people away from driving in their own cars,” the magazine wrote. “Bikes and scooters are another piece of the vision” after the company acquired Motivate a global full share bike operator and technology innovator, this past summer.

“If 40% of car trips in the US are less than two miles, and people are making many short trips in cities every day, there is a tremendous potential for us to make those trips on bikes and on scooters, and for those trips to be connections to public transit,” Samponaro said. “That’s what Lyft is working hard right now to build out and to make happen.”

But Lyft is not the only company investing in the bike and scooter sharing as a way to grow and create new opportunities while at the same time finding ways to push customers and users towards greener choices in terms of mobility.

Bike and scooter sharing startup Lime, formerly LimeBike, is launching new programs. The company, the first to land in the European market, launched also a car sharing service in Seattle and has now integrated its app with Google Maps, starting with a few key markets.

“We’re teaming up with Lime to help you find a better way to travel these short distances,” wrote Vishal Dutta, Google Maps project manager, in a blog post. “In 13 cities around the world, you’ll now be able to see nearby Lime scooters, pedal bikes and e-bikes as a transportation option right from Google Maps. Simply navigate to your destination and tap on the transit icon to see your nearby options. If a Lime vehicle is available, you’ll see how long it’ll take to walk to the vehicle, an estimate of how much your ride could cost, and your total journey time and ETA. Tapping on the Lime card will take you right to the Lime app, where you can see the exact location of the vehicle and easily unlock it. If you don’t have the Lime app installed, you’ll be taken to the App or Play store.”

So far the only non-American cities are Auckland, New Zealand, and Brisbane, Australia. But “more markets are on the way,” according to a Vickie Wu, content marketing associate at Lime.

The micro-mobility market is very fast and new players are emerging, in particular outside of the US and China, like Mexico City-based Grin, Berlin-based Tier, and São Paulo-based Yellow.

The latest is dott, a European scooter startup founded by Maxim ROMAIN, Ofo’s former head of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

With an initial €20 million in funding by EQT Ventures and Naspers Ventures, “dott’s goal is to support the development of vibrant inner cities, free of cars and pollution,” according a blog post by Romain here on Medium. “To achieve this, we aim to make short-distance trips much more enjoyable by offering light vehicles such as bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters and even possibly cargo bikes, available to anyone and everywhere in cities.”

dott is a Europe-based in a market largely dominated by non European companies, mostly from the US and China. Its focus will be on shareability, durability, and design, while the company’s mission rests on four pillars: environmental conscious, transparent, get things done, family.

2019 will be a very exciting year for this market!

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