GO THE EXTRA MILE
Rideshare companies launch electric bicycle/moped programs
As cities across the U.S. continue to grow, so too will the need for affordable public transportation options. Modern youth, who gave rise to the democratization of goods and services, are now spurring the demand for micro-mobility vehicles that prioritize access over ownership. Knowing this, the following companies are releasing electric moped/bicycle rideshare programs that allow users to more efficiently traverse their cities.
Rideshare startup Revel recently released 1,000 ready-to-use electric mopeds across Brooklyn and Queens. Revel users aged 21 and up need only download the app and pay a one-time fee of $19 to verify their license and driving record. Through the app, a rider can use GPS to find a bike, reserve it, and unlock the helmet. Riders pay $1 to unlock the moped, which thereafter costs $0.25 per minute to ride and $0.10 per minute when a ride is paused. To democratize access to its vehicles for all users, Revel will cut the cost of its program by 40% for lower income riders—an initiative that will resonate amongst today’s socially-conscious youth.
Bird recently announced plans to add electric mopeds to its transportation fleet this summer. Riders will soon be able to unlock and ride The Cruiser, which features a cushioned seat for two, disc brakes, and an LCD display screen. Bird users have the option to operate the Cruiser like a bicycle, using the vehicle’s electric pedal assist feature to make accelerating quick and easy, or like a moped, by placing their feet on the pegs and using the electric motor. The addition of this new ride offering will boost Bird’s ability to compete with other rideshare programs while increasing mobility for users.
Bond Mobility wants to help busy commuters get where they’re going faster with Smide, a rideshare program offering high-performance electric bicycles capable of reaching speeds up to 30 miles per hour. The safety of such a fast option is contentious, as most cities have deemed 15 miles per hour to be the maximum safe speed for electric scooters; however, the speed Smide e-bikes offer is an appealing factor for today’s on-the-go youth. Unlike other electric bikes that have to be parked at docks, Bond’s vehicles are dockless, meaning that riders can get from point A to point B without making stops in between. Though the bikes are currently only operating in two cities in Switzerland, the company has plans to trial them in the U.S.