Bike-sharing service Divvy is ramping up to expand into Chicago’s far south side, thus delivering on Divvy’s commitment to bring bike stations to every ward in Chicago. The development comes on the heels of the arrival of Lyft’s electric scooter program in June. Divvy and Lyft participate in a bigger ecosystem of mobility services providers that are making Chicago a more accessible city with services that complement rapid transit. But the story of mobility services is more than one of accessibility. Mobility services are also key to making the world more sustainable – and with vehicle-ride sharing services reportedly causing more congestion in U.S. cities, the advent of more sustainable mobility services is timely. On August 8, we’re going to explore mobility services at a Chicago Connectory event, Connexion Mobility. Here’s a preview of what we’re going to discuss:

The Advent of a Circular Economy

Mobility services are emerging at a time when businesses and governments are re-examining the need to protect the future of planet earth. As I blogged earlier this year, sustainability executives are examining how businesses might embrace a circular economy where people and companies reduce waste and decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources. In a circular economy, businesses produce fewer goods and services in favor of renting excess inventory from each other. The concept of the circular economy touches all aspects of a business’s supply chain.

The Relationship Between Mobility Services and the Circular Economy

So what do mobility services such as bike sharing and scooter sharing have to do with the circular economy? Everything. Consider Divvy. When a service such as Divvy takes hold, people change their mindset (gradually) from buying bikes to get around to renting them. The beauty of Divvy is that the model relies on excess inventory. Who rides their bikes 24/7? No one. So why should bikes sit around unused? Here is why it’s important for Divvy to make its bike sharing services plentiful. The more bike stations there are, the more likely it is that people will rent a bike to get something done (and, for that matter, the less likely it is that they will use a less environmentally friendly car).

But behind the scenes, many moving parts need to work for mobility services to succeed. One of them is the use of internet of things (IoT) technology. IoT is already transforming transportation by connecting fleets to move products and people more efficiently. That’s because machines, vehicles, and airplanes tethered together with smart devices can more rapidly talk to each other to communicate key data about inventory supply levels and real-time data such as traffic and flight conditions that affect delivery of inventory. Now consider how IoT make it easier for mobility services such as Divvy to track key inventory such as location of available bikes and specific neighborhoods where inventory might need faster replenishment. IoT can make it possible for Divvy operators to supply and replenish bikes faster and more accurately. When you implement IoT across multiple cities for scooters and bikes alone, we move that much closer to a more sustainable future.

Register for Connexion Mobility

We’re nowhere near that future just yet. But constructive, actionable dialogue such as the one we’re going to hold at Connexion Mobility is a start. For more information and to attend, register here. We’re looking forward to the event!

Mike Edmonds

Mike Edmonds

Managing Director, VP Product