Rent-to-ride forms of transportation are popping up on street corners in cities across the world. From bikes and e-bikes to scooters and even e-skateboards, micromobility is becoming the preferred form of transportation for many consumers.
This is great news for industry stakeholders who have their eye on maximizing their market share. But joining this fast-growing sector doesn’t come without its risks, especially from what’s perhaps the industry’s biggest variable—the weather.
Weather’s Impact on Micromobility
Whether docked or freestanding, micromobility fleets are directly impacted by weather. Bad conditions like rain, snow, and sleet can cause vehicle damage and present serious safety concerns for riders.
But it doesn’t stop there: without predictive systems, micromobility providers are vulnerable to a number of direct and indirect weather-related risks:
- Inability to forecast supply and demand
- Fleet damage during bad weather
- Inaccurate battery forecasting
- Sub-optimal fleet deployment times and locations
A common denominator in all of these? Changing consumer behavior based on weather conditions.
How the Weather Influences Consumer Microbility Decisions
It’s no surprise that certain weather events influence someone’s interest in choosing a rent-to-ride vehicle. But in order to outperform other modes of transport, micromobility companies need data-backed, actionable insights to make weather-related decisions.
We conducted a survey to understand how the weather is impacting the micromobility industry, and how companies can drive consumer growth. The results validate and enlighten decision-making insights for micromobility organizations everywhere.
Micromobility Consumer Survey
Our survey received 322 responses from people with the following background of an anonymous group of the following:
- Ages 18-60
- Based in the United States
- 47% male and 53% female
- Average household Income of $73,725
- 82% do not depend on rent-to-ride bikes or scooters to get around
We asked respondents four questions on how the weather impacts micromobility:
- When the weather is bad (e.g. rain, snow, ice, cold), how likely are you to use a rent-to-ride bike or scooter?
- How important is the weather forecast in determining your usage of rent-to-ride bikes or scooters?
- If your rent-to-ride trip is impacted by bad weather, how likely are you to consider a different mode of transport next trip?
- Would you like to get notifications on your phone when the weather will be bad, so you can choose to ride in advance of the weather?
The Results: Consumer Want Advanced Warning to Avoid Bad Weather on Trips
- 37% of consumers say the weather forecast is extremely important in determining their usage of rent-to-ride bikes or scooters
- 75% of consumers are unlikely to use a rent-to-ride bike or scooter when the weather is bad
- 42% of consumers are very likely to consider a different mode of transport if their rent-to-ride trip is impacted by bad weather
- 64% of consumers would like to get notifications on their phones when the weather will be bad so they can choose to ride in advance of the weather
Using Proactive Planning to Woo Riders
This data reveals a number of things around the weather’s significant impact on micromobility operations, the most enlightening of which is around rider communication. While many companies reserve push notifications for mid-ride reminders and promotional incentives, the majority (64%) of customers also want to know when bad weather is expected so they complete their ride before it starts.
And once bad weather hits, it’s clear that almost all riders (75%) are most likely opting for another transportation method. This is when micrombility organizations should plan for demand dips and adjust operations accordingly.
Offering this level of advanced warning is a major competitive advantage, but not possible without reliable data from a Weather API or weather intelligence. Insights from a platform like Tomorrow.io can let you know exactly when and where to expect certain conditions and how to adjust based on them.