Mobility as a Service (MaaS) companies

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Well-known member
Sep 19, 2011
East side of San Francisco Bay
Decided to start a topic, as car/bike/scooter-sharing along with public transit, EVs and AVs complement each other.

Lime To Offer Electric Fiat 500e, Renault Twizy In Seattle

Lime will transition from electric bikes and scooters to small EVs.

Tests will begin soon in Seattle on Lime’s new venture to offer urban EVs instead of the electric bikes and scooters it has offered in the past. This means we may have another entrant in the growing ride-sharing business, and one that will specifically feature electric vehicles. We’ve seen plans from Uber and Lyft to promote EVs, but these companies haven’t provided any indication that they’ll go all-electric in the near future. In areas like California, Oregon, and Washington, this new effort by Lime with the Fiat 500e and Renault Twizy could be hugely popular. . . .

The company’s system won’t really change, aside from the fact that you can now grab up a four-wheel electric city car, instead of an electric scooter. Basically, the vehicles are located in strategic areas throughout select metropolitan areas and users can simply proceed with the necessary steps for rental, jump in, and use the cars how they see fit.

Seattle citizens are already aware of how the system works, since the electric bicycle service has been in place for a time, so it’s a positive market for this pilot program. One major advantage of the new plan is that since these are actual roadworthy cars, renters won’t be stuck tracking down official Lime “spots” to park in during use. These chosen EVs can park anywhere any other car can park.

Thus far, Lime has 500 EVs on hand, all of which are initially either Fiat 500e vehicles or Renault Twizys. The report says that there is no official word on Seattle’s direct approval of the new plan, but we imagine we’ll have more information in the near future.

Also IEVS:
Electrify America Launches Fleet Of EV On-Demand Cars

Envoy Technologies and Electrify America (Volkswagens’ subsidiary), as announced earlier this year, launched a community-based car sharing system with electric cars in Sacramento, under the Electrify America Green City initiative called Sac-to-Zero.

Initially, there are more than 20 Volkswagen e-Golf at over 10 multi-family properties, equipped with AC Level 2 charging stations. In 2019, when the project will be completed, 142 EVs are to be available at 71 locations (apartments, hotels and workplaces). 75% of EVs will be in disadvantaged communities. . . .
Via GCC:
Bosch and Daimler: San Jose to become pilot city for automated on-demand ride-hailing service; SAE Level 4/5

Bosch and Daimler announced that San Jose . . . is planned to be the pilot city for trials, targeted to begin during the second half of 2019, of the . . . on-demand ride-hailing service recently announced by the two companies. (Earlier post.) The three parties have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue and finalize this activity.

Using automated Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles, Bosch and Daimler propose to offer the service to a selected user community in the San Carlos/Stevens Creek corridor between downtown and west San Jose. . . .

The on-demand ride-hailing service app operated by Daimler Mobility Services will demonstrate how mobility services such as car sharing (car2go), ride-hailing (mytaxi), and multi-modal platforms (moovel) can be intelligently connected.

The test operation will provide information about how highly and fully automated vehicles can be integrated into a multi-modal transportation network. The intent is to provide a seamless digital experience, in which a selected user community will have the opportunity to hail a self-driving car, monitored by a safety driver, from a designated pick-up location and drive automatically to their destination. . . .

Via ABG:
Paris launches world's biggest e-bike fleet to curb pollution
Up to 20K bicycles will go on long-term rentals at 40 euros per month

Public transit company Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM) is launching an e-bike renting scheme called Véligo with 10,000 e-bikes to start with. If that works out, IDFM will expand to 20,000, which would make it the world's largest electric bike rental system. . . .

Véligo will compliment Paris' Vélib' bike-sharing program, but unlike Vélib's hourly rentals and docking system, Véligo bikes will be rented for €40 per month and can be kept by users at home. As with metro passes in in the Paris region, employers can cover half the costs, leaving users with just a €20 monthly bill.

The e-bikes look a lot like the regular Vélib bicycles, but can run about 9 km (6 miles) on a charge, even with hills, depending on how much you peddle. The six year program will have a budget of up to €111 million, depending on the number of bicycles, and will be run by a consortium that includes France's postal group, La Poste.

Vélib' users loved the bulky, old-school bikes and the program -- originally financed by an advertising company in exchange for Paris billboard space -- has been a model for cities worldwide. However, it recently changed operators and the new scheme has been riddled with problems and abandoned by Parisians.

Given that, it might seem folly to launch a new system with costlier electric bikes, but there seems to be a demand for it. Electric scooter company Lime recently launched in Paris, and despite high rental rates, you can't walk around now without tripping over one. Véligo is less costly, depending on use, and the bikes are better suited for Paris' wonky cobblestoned streets. Other programs run in Strasbourg and Grenoble have been successful.

"Electric bikes have huge potential," said IDFM head Valérie Pécresse. "It will help 200,000 Parisians discover the e-bike and perhaps inspire them to purchase one of their own." The program is scheduled to launch in September 2019 starting with 10,000 bikes.
Via GCC:
Lyft acquires Motivate, becomes US’ largest bikeshare service

Lyft is completing the acquisition of the US’ largest bikeshare service, Motivate. Headquartered in New York City, the company is responsible for the growth of the country’s most ridden bikeshare systems, including: Citi Bike (New York); Ford GoBike (San Francisco Bay area); Divvy (Chicago); Bluebikes (Boston Metro area); Capital Bikeshare (Washington, D.C. metro area); BIKETOWN (Portland); CoGo (Columbus, Ohio); and Nice Ride (Minneapolis).

Last year, 80% of all bikeshare rides in the US were completed on Motivate systems. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City and Lyft will be significantly expanding Citi Bike, tripling its size to 40,000 bikes.

Lyft said that bikeshare is a natural extension of Lyft’s vision to improve transportation access, sustainability and affordability. With this acquisition, Lyft is poised to help take bikeshare to the next level: adding thousands of bikes and stations in communities that haven’t had access to transportation; making bikeshare membership more convenient and affordable than ever; and deploying new electric bikes, on a major scale.

Lyft’s overall work with bikes and scooters will help the company reach its goal of taking one million cars off the road by the end of 2019. Lyft is already seeing rapid adoption of its scooters that launched this Fall; in Denver alone, scooter trips account for 15% of Lyft's total rides. . . .

Via ABG:
Uber may acquire Bird or Lime to accelerate its scooter plans

Also ABG:
GM President Ammann will take over Cruise self-driving car unit
Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt becomes president, CTO

General Motors Co President Dan Ammann will take over as chief executive of the automaker's majority-owned Cruise self-driving car subsidiary, trading in the No. 2 job at one of the world's largest automakers for a front-row position in the race to render traditional cars obsolete.

Ammann's move, announced by GM and Cruise on Thursday and effective Jan. 1, underscores the challenges for legacy automakers as they compete for capital and talent with transport companies born from the digital technology and artificial intelligence industries, such as rival Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc, or Tesla Inc. . . .

Ammann, 46, will take over an operation that is growing rapidly and faces technical and regulatory hurdles to achieve its goal of launching a robo-taxi service by the end of 2019.

Vogt, 33, and Ammann reaffirmed the goal of launching an automated ride service next year.

"From a technical standpoint ... we have line of sight to where we need to be for our initial launch in 2019," Vogt said. "There's plenty of work to be done."

Since GM's acquisition, San Francisco-based Cruise has grown to 1,000 employees from 40, and recently announced plans to expand operations to Seattle. Vogt and Ammann said they expect Cruise to grow substantially as it launches a robo-taxi service and other ventures built around its autonomous driving technology.

"Today no one has a car that can be driven by itself, better than a human and is producible at large scale," Ammann said. "Once that exists ... we're going to be in a very interesting position in terms of how we turn that into a business."

Cruise has focused on developing automated taxis for cities. GM has not said where Cruise will launch its robo-taxi service, but Ammann and other executives have noted that Cruise is doing most of its testing in San Francisco. . . .
Survey: consumers increasingly open to emerging, tech-enabled auto experiences, including subscription services

. . . technology is changing the way consumers view and interact with their vehicles, according to findings from the Jim Butler Auto Group’s 2018 Automotive Technology Survey.

While consumers under age 55 showed the strongest interest in new, technology-enabled auto experiences overall, half of all survey respondents said they would consider subscription vehicle services that bundle the cost of a car payment, insurance and maintenance into one monthly service fee. 70% of 18 to 34-year-olds and 61% of 35 to 54-year-olds expressed an openness to this model.

The survey, distributed between 28 October to 8 November 2018 to more than 30,000 drivers nationwide, found advanced auto features weigh heavier than brand loyalty, with more than half of respondents saying they would be willing to abandon their preferred vehicle make or model to obtain the specific technologies they want. Half of all respondents said they would pay more for a vehicle that had the technology features they want.

. . . 72% of respondents displayed some level of discomfort with operating or riding in self-driving vehicles, and nearly 60% went further, expressing outright distrust of the technology.

Driver assist features, including hands-free calling, built-in navigation and lane departure warnings, fared better, with 60% or more respondents saying they were “somewhat” or “very” comfortable with the technologies.

Drivers age 18 to 34 showed the most openness to autonomous vehicles, with 60% in neutral to strong agreement with the statement, “I trust self-driving technology.”

While nearly 30 percent of consumers were neutral to very comfortable with riding in or operating a self-driving vehicle, only 19 percent said they believed flying vehicles would become commonplace in their lifetime. This belief was highest among 18 to 34-year-olds, with nearly 30 percent believing they would commonly see flying cars in their lifetime.*

Despite the prevalence of e-commerce, just 9% of respondents have ever bought a vehicle online. Overall, consumers expressed greater comfort purchasing new vehicles versus preowned vehicles online (36% to 28%), with price, specific make/model and simplicity of transactions, and specific tech features ranking as most important factors to online new-vehicle buyers.

* ;)
Via the San Francisco Chronicle:
Ford GoBike will boost fleet of electric bikes in SF from 250 to 850

. . . With the expansion that starts Friday, Ford GoBike will more than triple its number of ebikes in San Francisco — from 250 to 850 — while bringing battery-powered two-wheelers to the East Bay for the first time. . . .

Ford GoBike has a contract with the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission to provide traditional and electric bicycles at docks throughout the region. San Francisco’s stock of rental GoBikes will reach nearly 2,000 once the new ebikes hit streets. The company recently added five docks in the Bayview, a neighborhood that lacks easy transit connections to the downtown core, along with several stations in the Panhandle area.

GoBike’s regional network will include 7,000 bicycles parked at 546 stations once it’s complete, making it the second-largest bikeshare system in North America.

Lyft recently purchased Ford GoBike operator Motivate.

Also via the Chronicle:
Bike-share options are rarely available for people with disabilities

Andre Bryant did something this past summer that he had never done in his 48 years: He rode a bike.

Bryant, who has cerebral palsy, rode a hand-powered bike — a tricycle, actually — as part of a pilot program in Detroit, where the bike-share, called MoGo, is trying to provide more options for people with limited mobility.

Bryant couldn’t get enough. He returned again and again to take the adaptive bike farther each time at a park along the Detroit River, where the program debuted.

“It was really nice,” Bryant said. “I think it’s very important that you have alternatives, alternatives for mobility.”

Those alternatives have been elusive, even as bike-share programs have grown in popularity. About 35 million bike-share rides were taken in 2017, 25 percent more than the year before, and several orders of magnitude greater than the 320,000 trips taken in 2010, according to data compiled by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Yet the lack of adaptive bicycles has raised questions and legal concerns about accessibility. Companies that have sought to revolutionize transportation increasingly are facing questions about who gets left out.

“You’re creating this great new way of getting around for all these people, but you’re completely leaving out this huge segment of the population,” said Carol Tyson, government affairs liaison for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. “You’re leaving us behind, and you’re creating a more and more segregated society for us to live in. . . .”

n May, MoGo started its pilot program in Detroit, modeled in part after one in Portland, Ore. MoGo held demonstrations in which people like Bryant could try hand-powered bicycles; tricycles, which are more stable than bicycles, and other cycles. From May through October, the adaptive bikes had 174 rides, Lisa Nuszkowski, founder and executive director of MoGo, said.

The group is analyzing what it learned. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but officials said that before they think about expanding, they want to know, for example, how people used the bikes and what challenges they faced.

Some say that providing adaptive bikes isn’t straightforward. Zagster, one of the first operators to provide adaptive bikes, introduced them in Carmel, Ind., and at Ohio State University in Columbus in 2015. The company now has about 85 adaptive bicycles in 22 communities across the country. . . .

But Zagster is re-evaluating and it’s unclear if it will continue to expand, Manin said. She said some riders are unfamiliar with how to use the bikes, and the bikes are difficult to maintain because few manufacturers make the needed parts.

Another question is how adaptive bicycles can be used practically, said Thomas Gregory, deputy director of the Center for Independent Living, which has offices in Berkeley.

There’s recreational riding for fun but what gets trickier, Gregory said, is using the bikes for commuting.

“You go on your trip, you get to your destination, you don’t have your wheelchair with you,” he said.

At a station in Portland, people can help others to get on and off the bikes, said Julie Wood, a spokeswoman for Motivate, which runs Portland’s bike-share system and Citi Bike in New York.

“Some people have a mobility device, or a wheelchair; some people don’t,” she said. “Some people need help getting lifted in adaptive bikes.”

Gregory serves on a committee that is trying to solve that problem as Oakland mulls its own adaptive-bike pilot program, which is set to begin next year. He said the group was looking at an electric model in China that can accommodate a rider and a wheelchair.

He said the difficulty in solving the problem shouldn’t stop cities and operators from trying.

He said he believed that the Americans With Disabilities Act requires options for people with disabilities but the question has not been tested in the courts. Some cities have asked the Justice Department to what extent they are obligated to offer alternatives. The department said that “to the extent a bike-share program is a program, service or activity of a city or other public entity,” it would fall under the ADA.

Gregory said he’s happy that pilot programs are striving to improve accessibility but it should have been part of the discussion when bike-shares were started. . . .
I've always considered one of the advantages of AVs used in car-sharing is that some of them can be equipped with rear doors/hatches with ramps to allow wheelchair users to roll right in, seriously increasing their mobility and convenience. I had never thought about disabled access to shared bikes, due to the practical difficulties mentioned above.
Micromobility’s 15,000-mile checkup

Will the micromobility market boom or bust? With billions already invested, here’s an assessment of its potential.

Is the buzz surrounding shared micromobility1 overwhelming its real-world potential? The business model has gained tremendous attention recently, as interest builds and new investment dollars flood into the space. But questions concerning the ultimate size and scope of the shared micromobility market have also emerged.

Micromobility rapidly attracts cash and customers

Stakeholders have invested more than $5.7 billion in micromobility start-ups since 2015, with more than 85 percent targeting China. The market has already attracted a strong customer base and has done so roughly two to three times faster than either car sharing or ride hailing. In just a few years, for instance, several micromobility start-ups have amassed valuations that exceed $1 billion.

Two circumstances have driven this accelerated expansion. First, most launches of shared micromobility take place in conducive environments. Urban consumers already value and use solutions for shared mobility, such as car sharing, ridesharing, and e-hailing. What’s more, micromobility appears to make people happy—it’s faster than car-based trips in many situations, and users often say the freedom of being in the fresh air traveling to their destinations while avoiding traffic jams puts a smile on their face. Micromobility is perceived as “intuitive mobility” by design—it’s easy and liberating to buzz through traffic. It’s really quite simple: people feel rejuvenated, and the experience takes them back to their first time riding a bicycle or a scooter.

Favorable economics ensure lower break-even points

Second, the economics of shared micromobility are largely favorable to industry participants. Companies find it much easier to scale up micromobility assets (for example, electric bikes) compared with car-based sharing solutions. For example, the current acquisition costs of an electric scooter are about $400, compared with the thousands of dollars required to purchase a car. Thus, while today’s car-sharing solutions need several years to become economically viable, an outside-in business-case estimate of a leader in shared mobility shows that an e-scooter could break even in less than four months (Exhibit 1).

More than a quarter of the world’s population lives in cities with more than one million inhabitants. And vehicle traffic speeds in many of those city centers are now averaging as little as 15 kilometers an hour (9 miles per hour). This can be a frustrating and stressful experience. Micromobility offers some city dwellers an escape from that stress: higher average speeds, less time spent waiting or parking, a lower cost of ownership, and the health benefits of being outdoors.

How big is the market?

How big is it? Micromobility could theoretically encompass all passenger trips of less than 8 kilometers (5 miles), which account for as much as 50 to 60 percent of today's total passenger miles traveled in China, the European Union, and the United States. For example, about 60 percent of car trips are less than 8 kilometers and could benefit from micromobility solutions, which could also cover roughly 20 percent of public-transport travel (in addition to closing the first- and last-mile gap) as well as all trips done by private bike, moped, scooter, or walking today.

However, we estimate that shared micromobility will cannibalize only about 8 to 15 percent of this theoretical market. Constraints include its suitability for relevant mobility use cases (for example, limited space when going shopping), customer adoption, weather conditions, age fit, and micromobility’s lower presence in rural areas.

Modeling a base-case market

We modeled the baseline shared micromobility market and created a forecast, which revealed a 2030 market potential of roughly $200 billion to $300 billion in the United States, $100 billion to $150 billion in Europe, and $30 billion to $50 billion in China. The main differences across regions stem from unique pricing-per-kilometer strategies when comparing today's micromobility businesses. For instance, EU pricing is about half that in the United States, while China’s is only roughly 20 percent of US pricing. In the future, such differences might shrink as pricing in some regions, such as China, increases. . . .
Vulog partners with Segway to accelerate creation of shared micro-mobility services

Vulog, a technology platform for free-floating, round-trip, peer-to-peer carsharing, scootersharing, ride-hailing and hybrid services, is partnering with Segway to accelerate creation of shared micro-mobility services.

Through a deep integration between Vulog’s AiMA platform and new sharing-ready scooters from Segway, existing mobility operators and new entrants can now deploy profitable, large-scale shared kick-scooter services more easily and more quickly.

The first European shared mobility service combining cars and kick-scooters harnessing the partnership between Vulog and Segway will be launched in Q2 2019. . . .

The shared mobility movement is ultimately about reducing dependence on private vehicle ownership, and thereby mitigating congestion and pollution in cities. Estimates suggest that each shared car can reduce the number of private cars in a city by between seven and 15 cars. . . .
Electric Scooter Sharing Is Coming To Montreal

The city’s bicycle sharing service is expanding to scooters.

Montreal, Quebec has one of the best city bicycle share programs, according to The City for Millennials. That service, known as Bixi, will be expanding its offerings to include a fleet of electric scooters this spring, reports MTLBlog.

Montreal is far from the first city to introduce electric scooter sharing. Combining such a service with an already successful bicycle sharing service, public transit, and even an app, however, is uncharted territory. Bixi currently allows you to rent a bicycle for a certain amount of time or a one-way trip, using either a credit card or an Opus card, which is also how you access Montreal’s public transit system. There’s an app to help you plan your trip and return the bike to another Bixi station.

This is all pretty cool stuff. Now imagine adding electric scooters to this existing system. Tourists could easily go for a joyride, while commuters could ride rather than pedal anywhere Montreal’s Metro doesn’t go. It remains to be seen how well these scooters will handle the city’s badly cratered roads. . . .
Electric Citi Bikes recalled after touchy brakes sent riders flying
The front brakes are too strong

Following customer concerns about the safety of its electric bicycles, Citi Bikes has temporarily removed all pedal-assist rides from New York City. Parent company Lyft is also taking similar precautions with its other products and will remove ride-share bicycles in Washington and San Francisco. They will be replaced with traditional bikes. . . .

According to a report from the New York Times, several people experienced touchy front brakes that caused them to flip over the handlebars when braking hard. This resulted in several injuries, so Citi Bike has pulled approximately 1,000 bikes from its NYC locations. . . .

The NYT also stated that Lyft, which recently purchased bike-share conglomerate Motivate, has pulled electric bicycles from Capital Bikeshare in Washington and Ford GoBike in San Francisco.

While Citi Bike investigates the issue, it is also working on the next-gen electric pedal-assist bike, which is said to be coming soon. Citi Bike says the new model will be accessible by scanning a QR code and "overall will be more fun to ride."
Hyundai Capital America and flexdrive partner to develop alternative models to vehicle ownership

Hyundai Capital America (HCA), the captive finance company for Hyundai Motor America, and flexdrive, a mobility subscription technology and services platform, announced a strategic partnership to support the development of alternatives to the traditional vehicle ownership model that include economic benefits for both automotive dealers and consumers.

The companies are co-developing various financial options that support the industry’s evolution towards vehicle subscription as an alternative to traditional ownership, which provides tangible value to consumers and dealers. . . .
Japanese car-sharing service members are renting cars — but not for driving
Customers are using the cars for some odd and unexpected purposes

It points to this:
Growing number of car-sharing users don’t rent cars for driving
Mercedes Thieves Showed Just How Vulnerable Car-Sharing Can Be
After Car2Go eased its background checks, 75 of its vehicles were stolen in one day.
ReachNow car sharing and ride hailing is dead:

The link from is dead but there's a copy at
Canoo unveils first subscription-only EV
Canoo unveils first subscription-only EV

LA is planned to be the launch market in 2021. We'll see if they get there. More details and images in this GCR article:

Ford says Austin will get its self-driving cars in 2021
Commercial taxi service will also operate in Miami and D.C.
Car2go pulls out of 5 North American cities casting more doubt on free-floating car-sharing’s viability
SHARE NOW, car2go’s parent company, said Friday that the service will shut down in Portland, Denver, Chicago, Austin, and Calgary. The announcement comes just a few weeks after two car-sharing services pulled out of Seattle, raising questions about the long-term viability of the service. SHARE NOW says it is still committed to operating and growing in Seattle.
^^^ Oddly enough, Getaround recently put up signs and parked four or five compact sedans (Forte/Mazda 3/GLI) at an apartment building parking lot on the next block. Seems like a good place for them, as the parking there is quite limited, and they like me are only a couple of blocks from downtown, so no need to own a car unless you need one to commute on a regular basis (or take road trips like mine where a rental would sit parked for days while you're off doing something else).
cwerdna said:
Car2go pulls out of 5 North American cities casting more doubt on free-floating car-sharing’s viability
SHARE NOW, car2go’s parent company, said Friday that the service will shut down in Portland, Denver, Chicago, Austin, and Calgary. The announcement comes just a few weeks after two car-sharing services pulled out of Seattle, raising questions about the long-term viability of the service. SHARE NOW says it is still committed to operating and growing in Seattle.
Share Now, formerly Car2Go, is leaving North America
Daimler and BMW, which jointly own Share Now, say they are focused on European markets
Share Now, the car-sharing service formerly known as Car2Go, is leaving North America. Daimler and BMW, the two global automakers that share ownership of Share Now, said it would cease service on February 29th, 2020. Share Now currently operates in New York City, Montreal, Seattle, Washington, DC, and Vancouver.