Scooters are having a moment; more and more dockless scooter companies have become a prominent sight in cities across the U.S., each staking their claim of the market. Offering a new way to see the city or get somewhere fast, dockless scooters are a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Though each of the leading players offers something slightly different on the surface, their back-ends are extremely similar, all approaching their asset management and charging in almost the same way. Our guests today argue that the current method is severely flawed, and the best method for maintaining a fleet of dockless scooters isn’t the one that’s the most popular. Chatting with us today about themselves and their company are the founders of Joy Scooter, Ray Billings, and Aryan Davani.
So, why are scooters so in demand? “Many cities are using them, and several areas have passed bills to allow them on the streets. As public perception continues to grow in a positive way, many are finding it a great solution for traversing the city,” Billings said.
And why wouldn’t they? First, riders can pick one up and simply unlock with their phone, then deposit it at their destination. It’s often quicker to take a scooter than to use a car because of traffic, and it’s much cheaper than an Uber.
The use of scooters certainly ties into how cities are changing due to gridlock. According to Davani, “Infrastructure is changing, and the future is fewer cars on the road and alternative transportation options.”
But dockless scooters have certainly had their challenges. Many providers offer subpar equipment and have issues managing their fleets, leaving abandoned scooters throughout neighborhoods.
Joy Scooter is doing things differently. Their scooters are unique. “They are much more durable and made from the robotics lab at MIT. They can go three to five days without a charge, have a lifetime of 18 months, and are safer,” Billings said.
Plus, their software allows them to diagnose scooter problems from the cloud, addressing maintenance issues. The most exciting change, though, comes from their business model. Instead of the parent company having complete control over the maintenance of the scooters, incentivizing people to join the gig economy by charging scooters in fleets, they allow their partners to own and manage their suite of scooters, giving them equity.
Not only does this create more focused maintenance and care for a smaller number of scooters, but it empowers riders to become their business owners, creating a more consistent and revenue stream for the company.
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