Park a Car, Rent a Scooter: A Solution to the Last Mile Problem
“Now is the time for owners and operators to be looking at more diverse revenue streams in their garages. As we emerge out of the pandemic, daily/monthly parking with office buildings will return. However, the needs and expectations of customers has changed.” Thus Tyler DuMont, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Flash began his interview with Parking Today.
Scooter ridership has almost doubled since the onset of the
Scooter ridership has almost doubled since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a leading micro mobility company. To help garage and parking lot owners and operators meet that demand, Flash has created a private scooter fleet solution that will drive an entirely new line of revenue. Flash’s scooter solution organizes, charges, and provides scooters for round trip usage, perfect for consumers looking to add scooters to their mobility routine.
“Adding on to the core parking business with amenities for the consumer transforms the garage into more than just a parking space. Flash has changed from ‘ride and leave’ scooter model to an updated ‘private use fleet’ in which customers ride and use for periods of time.”
According to DuMont, the concept is that a docking station with up to eight scooters will be located in the garage. Consumers will use the Bird app on their cell phones to reserve and then select a scooter. They will pay for a period of time, not distance, as is the current Bird model. After use, the scooter must be returned to the docking station where it was picked up.
“The idea is that the scooter will be theirs for the duration of their use. They drove to the parking facility, picked up the scooter, used it to finish their trip, maybe with multiple stops, and then returned it to the facility when they were ready to pick up their car.”
Rather than dealing with a scooter dropped on the street, the consumer knows they can rely on having a scooter in the garage, they know it will be there ready to go, fully charged. Being private labeled, and using the Bird model, the look and feel of the scooter will be more attractive to the consumer. The scooter software locks the scooter for anyone other than the customer during this time. The ability to lock the scooter is the differentiating factor versus the standard per minute rate structures.
“Customers crave convenience and simplicity. The ability to reserve a scooter while parking, and even charging, their vehicle via the same app enhances the customer experience and adds a layer of service that anticipates and meets those needs.”
Flash has also developed a relationship with EV Box charging and blended this into their smart phone app.
When PT noted that the scooter fad seemed to be fading even before the pandemic began, DuMont commented that Flash thought it was going to get more bang for its buck as commuter trends changed after the pandemic lifts and habits permanently changed from traditional rapid transit to private vehicles and micro mobility transportation.
The data available from the scooter rental, including time and distance studies, is available on the parking system’s dashboard and can give additional information to the parking operator as to the status of his facility and usage.
Hotels are an important market for the solution, noted DuMont. The idea that hotel guests can rent scooters right at the hotel and not have to worry about finding a scooter at either end of their trip would be attractive.
Flash sees the blending of parking, micro mobility, EV charging, auto services, and Uber type transportation under one brand will build customer loyalty and give owners and operators an excellent reason to consider diversifying their income potential.
People are going to come back and park. Now is the time to consider adding to the core business and expand amenities available. It’s not just a parking space anymore.
Flash has premiered its private scooter fleet solution at two locations in Austin. Hartland Plaza now offers 24 scooters and three docking stations at the parking garages located at 1717 West 6th Street in Austin; and 24 scooters at three stations located in the parking garages of 823 Congress. This collaboration will enable the owners and operators of these pilot locations to better serve their customers by offering half- and full-day rentals. This is a new, convenient rental option providing more time for roundtrip last-mile usage allowing riders to incorporate scooters into their daily transportation routines.
John Van Horn is editor and publisher of Parking Today. He can be reached at email@example.com