This summer, many eyes were cast on the West Coast as Santa Monica and San Francisco came to grips with the sudden popularity of dockless e-scooter sharing. The cities quickly banned the operators of the vehicles, fearing a free-for-all, and then subsequent allowed only a relative handful to return. The main point of contention between regulators and the venture backed firms that operate the scooters is their relationship with sidewalk and public space; municipal leaders are concerned about bikes and scooters strewn across the streets, potentially causing a public hazard and nuisance.
On the other side of the country, in New York, a remarkable pilot is taking place in the heart of the city’s Downtown. At the end of September, Oonee, in partnership with the Alliance for Downtown New York will introduce a micro-mobility pod that will provide secure, weather-protected, parking for bikes and scooters. The service will be housed in a smart, modular, free-standing pod, which can be assembled on-site in less than a day and easily removed or modified. This innovative design approach also allows the structure to be customized to specific shapes and sizes in order to meet the contours of various urban spaces.
While the New York pilot will initially accommodate personal bikes and scooters, the infrastructure is also capable of housing dockless bike and scooter solutions as well.
A Central Repository
Oonee’s modular hubs can serve as a central repository where users can pick-up and drop-off bikes and scooters. Dockless schemes, especially those that are limited by local regulations, could benefit from having a cohort of central nodes in a service area where users are always sure that they’ll be able to find working vehicles.
Users could receive discounts or rewards for dropping dockless vehicles off at the pods in order to ensure efficient circulation.
A Charging Station
Charging pedal assist bikes and electric scooters is an onerous, burdensome task. Central hubs with charging stations can make life much easier for users and operators. Instead of moving the scooters to be charged at homes and re-deploying them, contractors would be able to drop off the vehicles at hubs along the network where charging stations would be waiting inside.
These industrial grade chargers could quickly charge the bikes & scooters so they’re ready for redeployment in a matter of hours.
An Operations Hub
Today, collecting, repairing and storing bikes and scooters is an operational burden dockless operators, but Oonee can help. Instead of having one or two warehouses at the city periphery, Oonee can serve as a network of smaller, more nimble warehouse centers in location across a service zone.
Within an Oonee, workers and contractors could repair and deploy vehicles instead of spending copious amounts of time in transit. Not only would this scheme contribute to greater worker efficiency, but it would also increase the reliability of the vehiclular fleet, as repairs could be completed much quicker.
Made to Enhance Public Space
While the dockless schemes have frequently been depicted as a natural foe of orderly public spaces, this doesn’t have to be the case. Oonee is designed with an array of exterior activation options that can invigorate the surrounding streetscape and engage bypassers. These options include benches, greenery, WiFi, ambient lighting and way-finding.
One Hub For Everything
We recognize that personal vehicles and sharing schemes are part of the same mobility ecosystem and often share the same users. Oonee is designed to accommodate both under the same roof, albeit in separate compartments.
For a city, a single Oonee could provide secure parking for personal bikes and scooters as well as Ops hub for dockess companies who are providing public-for-hire vehicles. The end result would be smart, nimble, beautiful mobility infrastructure that helps bring the promises of the micro-mobility revolution to communities across a city.