Author: Michael Given, Head of Sales, Hopp
Here at Hopp, our franchise model is designed to empower small business owners that so far have been left out of the micromobility movement, to be able to serve their local communities with a sustainable transport solution.
Our experience tells us that regulatory confusion has long been the biggest blocker for the adoption of micromobility sharing services in small towns, where laws and ordinances don’t currently exist to facilitate ease of adoption.
But entrepreneurs looking to start new shared-mobility schemes are now also facing a cold hard precedent of a major international city in Paris declaring that the model doesn’t work.
To avoid this becoming a recurring pattern around the world, micromobility providers are obligated to address the issues that led here.
We view micromobility as an essential need so have formalised a response in an attempt to ensure our franchises and peers never fall foul of the pitfalls that led to the non-renewal in Paris.
Micromobility providers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their riders, both through education regarding safe-riding practices and free access to safety equipment such as helmets.
With this in mind we invest and diversify protocols in safety technologies with continuous research and product development.
We have integrated sensors into our scooters so that they can detect when pedestrianised areas are entered, slowing the speed of the scooters down to alert our riders to potential dangers and mitigate potential hazards.
We are testing a service where Hopp riders can request a helmet in our app and have one immediately delivered to their location via e-scooter. We are also running workshops with the public, facilitated by local police bodies to encourage better riding practices and proficiency.
Collaboration with local government
With franchises now set up in Iceland, Spain, Norway, Greece, the Faroe Islands, Poland and Sweden, we have learnt that before any franchise opens in a new location, we must work collaboratively with regulators and the hopeful business to create a framework of clear guidelines that promotes safety and accessibility.
The solution must also allow for the city’s growth and innovation where traditional transport solutions are critically lacking.
We have found that towns and cities are often in desperate need for such a service and our goal is to help them raise the full potential of a Hopp scooter operation, while mitigating as much risk as possible for misuse or public nuisance.
We constantly adapt and develop our award-winning proprietary app to provide critical infrastructure, such as dedicated parking areas for scooters that offer users discounts when utilised, therefore encouraging best practice when riders are finishing a journey to avoid bad parking etiquette.
By working with cities and municipalities to improve infrastructure, we are doing all we can for riders to use our services safely and effectively.
Finally, we are focused on creating an enjoyable and easy user experience – investing in technologies that provide responsive customer support to create a loyal user base that advocates for sustainable transportation, lessening congestion and reducing pollution.
Micromobility providers must work collaboratively with each other and local government to prioritise safety and establish clear guidelines for both local government and the users they are accountable to.
The city of Paris has faced many a turbulent era, so much so that its official motto states Il est battu par les flots, mais ne sombre pas (It is tossed by the waves, but does not sink). It is unfortunate that when it came to micromobility, the service was lost to the waves, but we will do everything in our power to ensure that none of our franchises suffer the same fate.
To read more from Hopp or enquire about franchising options in your city, please visit hopp.bike/franchise.