In May 2019, during the 1st Grow Summit on Safety in Micromobility, an expansion of the operation was announced promising to take micromobility to peripheral areas of the city. The operation would start with yellow bicycles in an area of ​​approximately 7 km² and serve three subway stations in the neighborhoods of Capão Redondo and Jardim São Luís. Since then, there have been changes in the area of ​​operation according to the needs of operational logistics, but the success remained constant in the first six months of operation.

Start of operations at Capão Redondo at the end of May 2019 | Source: Grow Mobility Inc.

‌To assess social and economic impacts, two consultancies participated in a detailed study (download, in Portuguese). It involved interviews with Grow's operational teams, user surveys and Grow's credit store. The study was carried out by Análise Econômica Consultoria, with statistical support from Akademy Consultoria.

According to data from the 2010 Census surveyed by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), approximately 2.72 million inhabitants live in the South Zone of São Paulo. Of these, approximately 270 thousand people live in Capão Redondo. According to the Seade Foundation (2020), the southern region has the lowest concentration of banking services, markets and leisure activities.

In addition, according to a survey by the Seade Foundation, 33% of households in the southern region of the city of São Paulo have more than one source of income. This value reflects an average monthly income per capita in the region of approximately R$ 1,095.00. In this context, Grow's bicycle operation and credit stores were inserted.

The study

The understanding of the problem and the data collection took place in three stages: building the theory of change (ToC), research with users of the application in the region (statistical research) and research with credit stores in the region (partners). For ToC, the team from Análise Econômica Consultoria carried out, on the 27th of September, 2019, a facilitation with the Grow teams responsible for the operation. It was important to define the problem, build long-term objectives, define the target audience, map actions and list indicators. The hypotheses for change are presented in the following tables.

Long-term - logistics and transport
Long-term - economic-financial

‌‌For the statistical survey, the methodology used to obtain the data followed the strategy of collection in the app, with the users of the Grow system (Yellow and Grin) being invited to answer in a structured way. Submissions were constant during the period from 25th of November to the 4th of December, with a 95% confidence level, which means that the maximum margin of error in responses is approximately 5%.

Finally, with partners, quantitative statistical validation was not sought. A qualitative assessment of the service was carried out, precisely from the point of view of the partners. A semi-structured interview was organized for the approach, in order to capture the perceptions, needs and advantages of the partnership with credit providers through the app.

The results

With the hypotheses of change defined, the research was carried out digitally with the users of the region. The selection of users was defined by their user_id with trips made in the region in the four months preceding the survey. The results obtained include:

The research allows us to profile users. The users are primarily male, with a monthly income of up to 2 times the minimum wage and aged between 26 and 40 years. They use Bicycle areto go to work during the week and for leisure on weekends. The average userloads up to R$20 per month in the application which is primarilyused for bicycle races. Another positive feature is that, in general, the user considers that the application helps to better control expenses.

Approximately 65% ​​of respondents use bicycles to go to work. Additionally, approximately 56% of them substitute travel by car, motorcycle, uber or bus with the bicycle. For 71% of users, this modal migration has saved time in their lives. The savings were also financial, as the bicycle is 78% cheaper than the bus and 56% cheaper than the car, without considering the expenses with possible traffic on the way.

The bicycle operation had a monthly average of 1,700 users impacted, with approximately 5,000 trips per month. During 2019, about 50,000 kilometers were covered with Grow bicycle rentals in the region.

Considering the average time saved when migrating to the bicycle, it is estimated that a total of 23,800 minutes were saved on average per day. There were about 400 hours saved daily by users of the Grow bike system (Yellow and Grin). From a financial perspective with a daily savings of more than R$ 6,00 per person, the total savings for all users in the year can reach R$ 3 million. This relevant value circulates in the economy, encouraging consumption and increasing local business. In the interview with a partner, for example, an increase of up to 10% in his monthly sales revenue was reported.

The study suggests building a periodic report to monitor the chances of change. With the begin of the e-scooter operation in Capão Redondo, the opportunity arises to monitor and analyze the impacts that this other mode of transport generates in the region.

Finally, the study says that, in addition to environmental and health aspects, Grow Mobility has a positive impact on the district of Capão Redondo. It is recommended to strengthen and expand the operation in peripheral regions, and continue to monitor the impact to ensure that the results of the micromobility remain positive.