With more than 10 million trips and availability in more than 20 cities, Grow Mobility has a hegemonic presence in the latin american micromobility ecosystem.
As our previous article stated, micromobility companies, more specifically those operating dockless vehicles, are booming all around the world with a single and powerful adoption ramp compared to other types of transportation and technologies.
Besides being clean and occupying reasonable space on the streets, this type of transportation offers opportunities for new trips around the city, improves accessibility by connecting with public transport, and makes life easier for citizens by reducing dependence on their own cars.
Micromobility services began in the northern hemisphere, in different contexts, with different ideas and technologies, mostly in the US, Europe and Asia. Bike sharing systems started in the 90s and, as technology grew, they became popular all over the world. In the beginning, unlocked by call or SMS, dockless systems managed to grow scalably with the growth of smartphone access. China - pioneer in the dockless systems as we know today - has become the world's largest bike-share operators with millions of bikes spread over 100 cities, mainly in the northern hemisphere.
Initial attempts of e-scooter systems began around 2012 in California, USA, but the first dockless e-scooter sharing services started to roll out in San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles at the end of 2017, followed by strong growth since then, with great concentration in Europe too.
And what about micromobility in Latin America?
With widespread traffic congestion, non sufficient coverage of mass public transport (in general), high rates of road fatalities and accidents, and high social inequality, micromobility solutions had to be rebuilt internally by adapting success stories of developed countries to latin american context.
In Latin America micromobility vehicles are facing the same amount of demand that they face in Europe or in the USA, but with very different motivations. While in developed countries they compete with public transport, in Latin America, where it's more expensive than public transport but cheaper and more efficient than private cars, shared-micromobility services (bikes, e-scooters, e-bikes and e-mopeds) are getting people off their cars, promoting the mass transit systems, and making people enjoy and live their cities in a better way.
Trying to better understand the real situation of micromobility in Latin America, we decided to map out all the companies that operate there, trying to focus on private e-scooter, bicycle, e-bike and e-moped systems.
As seen below, Grow Mobility Inc. - with the brands Grin, Yellow - and Econduce, as a commercial partner, has become a leader in the latin american panorama, operating in the capitals of Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay, and in many cities in Brazil and Colombia. The tables below shows the results of companies operating in the end of June and beginning of July, 2019.
Looking at Grow data, it's possible to understand how micromobility works across different vehicle types and countries. The table below lists Grow's information, showing the first month of operation, and the average distance, time and speed. It is important to explain two details of this: first, in many cases GPS has signal limitations and failure while traveling, resulting in unrealistic or empty travel distances. Such cases were not counted. And second, the values written here talk about averages, it means all the time stopped waiting for traffic lights or intersections, or traveling at reduced speed (the company instructs users to go 6 km/h in pedestrian areas, as many current regulations say), in general, can pull the speed in travel down.
In Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay e-scooter trips have average distances of around 1.8 km, slightly longer than other countries. The average speed is no more than 10 kilometers per hour in every country. Bikes and e-bikes have similar results, but it is important to know that the electric one is just starting up, meaning that data should be re-analyzed as soon as this mode becomes more popular with more relevant travel quantities. Econduce e-moped has been working for the last four years in Mexico City and has solid values. In general, people drive about 10 kilometers for half an hour.
Considering that people that used Grow's equipments could be driving around by car, it's possible to estimate the quantity of CO2 not emitted. Based on Stanford University’s studies that adopted some standards for this calculation, relating Grow's trip distances since the beginning of operation in Latin America, the cities ceased receiving about 9,500 tons of carbon dioxide, as shown in Table 6.
It is possible to estimate the amount of calories burned by all Grow bike and eBike users. Using average standards, is possible to adopt that riding a Yellow bike it burned 300 kcal per hour, as found in many bibliographies. Assuming that e-bike rides burn 80% of traditional bike rides, all Grow trips, since the beginning, made people burn more than 250 millions of kilocalories. As a new type of vehicle, no bibliographic references were found to estimate the calories burned when riding electric scooters.
Grow’s added value is its knowledge about how Latin America works which made us work with the communities. The company knows that not only permission from the authority is needed, but also people and communities. That's why local offices are hiring local people in each country, activating local economies and caring about what is happening within their cities.
The field operations teams are always formed with people from the communities, providing opportunities for those who are usually excluded from the formal labor market. There is also a program to stimulate the hiring of former interns from the penitentiary system, giving opportunities to people which society, in majority, rejects.
On the other hand, Grow carries out many activities within low income communities and its residents, to include micromobility services on their life, satisfying their curiosity and making them feel "owners" like traditional bikes and scooters riders. Actions like these makes the company an even stronger leader within Latin American micromobility ecosystem.
People impacted every day, with an easy way of going around our cities, getting a job opportunity or creating communities, are responsible for this great scenario towards a better, bigger and greener mobility. Grow, moves people, not only within our beloved cities, but also forward into a smarter mobility culture. We love our cities in every way!