Announcements

Spin Deepens Transit Partnerships with New In-App Integration in Cologne

On March 15, we launched an exciting new partnership with Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe (KVB), the company that operates public transportation in Cologne. The new partnership will let KVB riders find Spin scooters through the KVB app — and new riders will get their first ride free.

KVB announces our new partnership on Twitter. “Secure your free ride with Spin,” the tweet reads.
Riders can see arrival times, train and bus stop locations, and e-scooters in the same KVB app.

This in-app integration will streamline the connection between micromobility and transit, allowing riders to more easily get off at a train station and quickly find an e-scooter for the last leg of their journey or to shorten the time it takes them to get from their front door to the bus stop.

Partnerships like this are essential as micromobility increasingly becomes integrated into transportation networks in cities around the world. Data-sharing integrations like the one with KVB are just one way we can partner with transit agencies.

We have also invested in Spin hubs near transit depots, like we did with our Tranzito partnership in San Fransico. This simple infrastructure investment puts scooters near train or bus stations in a way that is visible and orderly, making it easier for transit riders to find a scooter for the next leg of their journey. Sometimes, a partnership can be as simple as designated deployment zones for scooters near transit locations and using in-app features to encourage riders to end their trips near bus or train stops.

Micromobility, managed and deployed in a thoughtful, well-planned, and cooperative way, complements public transit by giving riders a sustainable way to connect to the core service area.

Nearly 20 percent of all trips taken in Cologne in the last six months (October 2020 to March 2021) either started or ended near these four transit stops.

As we celebrate our partnership with KVB, we are also looking forward to future partnerships with similar arrangements. We are working closely with the City of Pittsburgh and Transit app on a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) initiative that will give people real choices on how to get around, seamlessly navigating between bikes, e-scooters, ride-share, and transit depending on their needs and allowing them to use one app to pay their fare or to rent a scooter.

In-app incentives for transit-adjacent scooter parking

App integration is the next step in transit partnerships and providing mobility as a service, but Spin has already been working closely with many other cities to ensure that micromobility supports public transportation and transit riders, especially during the pandemic, when many transit agencies have been forced to make hard decisions about cuts to service and limiting capacity on trains and buses.

Recently, we looked at our ridership figures in White Center, a community just south of Seattle, Washington. White Center has strong transit connections with its northern neighbor, where many of White Center’s 15,000 residents work. And in 2020, the closure of the West Seattle Bridge meant that car traffic would be significantly restricted.

In White Center, we coordinated with city officials to establish preferred parking spots near five key transit hubs and a corresponding increase in the number of rides starting and stopping there.

To encourage using scooters to connect to buses and trains, Spin established “Preferred Parking Spots” near five bus stops along commuter routes running to downtown Seattle and we offered a $1 ride credit for each trip ending in predetermined zones.

Rewarding people for using sustainable transportation

When Miami-Dade County was forced to reduce transit capacity because of the pandemic, the County wanted to give riders affordable options that could let them travel while maintaining social distancing protocols instead of driving. So the County partnered with Velocia, an app that pays its users in VELO rewards when they hop on one of the transportation modes offered in the Velocia app anytime during peak commute hours. Spin is included in the program, funded in part by Miami-Dade County.

In this case, the County needed a quick way to give commuters options when they were forced to reduce transit service. Micromobility serves here to fill in unforeseen gaps in the service network that arose out of the need for social distancing on transportation.

Working with cities to fill in the gaps

In Portland, Oregon, Trimet, the regional transportation authority, was facing a similar issue. Reduced service meant disruptions to the transit network. Our strong partnership with the city allowed us to work together to find ways for e-scooters to work to fill in the gaps and give people options for their commutes besides driving.

For Spin, it meant bringing its Everyday Heroes program, which provides free rides and helmets for frontline healthcare workers; committing to a minimum level of service in how scooters are deployed for the public, especially in areas where mobility access is limited; and reducing all rider trip fares by 50 percent. The City, for their part, reduced or temporarily waived the fees it normally requires from Spin as a shared micromobility operator. The City also allowed Spin to increase its overall fleet size by 250 scooters, giving us more flexibility to deploy scooters where they were most needed.

We are excited for our most recent partnership with KVB and look forward to helping people connect more seamlessly with transit in Cologne. We believe that this is the beginning of a new move toward increasingly integrated sustainable transportation modes and we look forward to future partnerships in Germany, the U.S., and the world.

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