Blue Duck is expanding their business by bringing micromobility to smaller cities around the U.S. By partnering with cities, they are able to bring equitable and sustainable services to otherwise underserved markets.
Read on in the interview below to learn more about their mission and predictions for the transportation landscape in a post-COVID world.
Blue Duck Background & Operations
We share the vision of bringing mobility to all different markets and making sharing services available for all. Tell us a bit more about your approach there.
Blue Duck believes that clean, equitable micromobility should be available to anyone, irrespective of their geographic location or the size of their community. By partnering with small- to mid-size cities that are seeking new transportation solutions to offer to their residents, we are able to provide them with resources that had typically only been offered in major metropolitan areas. Blue Duck continues to embrace these communities by offering long-term partnerships, safe and professionally maintained assets, and newly created job opportunities for local residents, contributing to economic development in the city.
What inspired Blue Duck to launch in the first place?
On a trip to Los Angeles in early 2018, our founders observed the launch of electric scooters in Venice, California. They immediately appreciated the positive impact that clean-tech micromobility could have to transform lives and cities. Their vision was to introduce this new technology to the Southeastern U.S. while combining this vision with a civic-minded approach of working in careful coordination with municipal officials to develop a partnership prior to the deploying of assets in the community.
How is Blue Duck transforming mobility in smaller cities around the US? How are you partnering with cities to accomplish this?
In addition to responding to RFPs and permits that fit our business model, Blue Duck engages in active outreach to markets of all sizes. This often results in what we call a “guided process” in which we collaborate with a city or university, or even a corporate campus, to create a micromobility program suited to their community or organization’s unique needs. This process usually results in an exclusive relationship that allows us a develop a deeper relationship with our partner that yields more meaningful and useful data to inform the evolution of the program and overall planning efforts to improve infrastructure, regulations and public education and engagement.
What makes Blue Duck’s approach to last-mile travel different from others in the marketplace?
Blue Duck takes great pride in the client experience with our relationships with our municipal and private partnerships. This strategic focus begins from our initial meeting with our respective city partners and extends to outreach and collaboration with community leaders, businesses, and residents, and results in the unique experience of local riders when they take one of our professionally maintained Blue Duck scooters or e-bikes for a ride.
In addition to working with cities in the South, you’re also bringing Ducks to college campuses and corporate organizations throughout the U.S. Tell us a bit more about that!
Blue Duck was one of the first micromobility operators to hire full-time employees to professionally maintain its fleet, ensuring safe and reliable assets for public use. Taking what we’ve learned in our municipal markets we can offer our expertise to corporate and campus clients and professionally manage their fleets as well. As our corporate and campus fleets expand, look for Blue Duck assets at retail locations, real estate developments, colleges, and many Fortune 500 corporate locations!
What do you think the future of shared mobility will look like in the U.S. especially post-Covid era?
Shared mobility is still in its early stages. Exciting new developments in all forms of micromobility are in pipelines across the industry from exciting new modalities that engage specific vertical markets such as package delivery, to artificial intelligence that allows for autonomous rebalancing and onboard camera systems and diagnostics to improve the rider experience. Just three years ago, shared electric scooters were unheard of in most places; now they are ubiquitous in many cities and campuses and whether or not they have ridden them, most people have interacted with scooters or e-bikes in some form, whether as a rider, or an observer sharing space with these new devices. As the future of mobility rapidly shifts towards environmentally friendly solutions, micromobility will continue to grow as a dominant solution offering readily available, clean and equitable modes of transportation.
What makes you guys unique in your approach? Are others looking to you as an example of the future of mobility?
Blue Duck’s unique approach begins with our company’s core mantra “Micromobility, Southern Style.” We believe this cordial, respectful and friendly way of working together with our municipal and corporate partners before we deploy assets in their market allows for enhanced relationships over a period of time. Additionally, we have been using full-time employees to manage our fleet since company inception, resulting in a longer useful life of the fleet with the added benefit of a safer, professionally maintained scooter or e-bike for our customers. We believe our model of working cities in a long-term partnership before launching and utilizing full-time employees to manage the fleet has become the growing trend among operators.
In what ways has Blue Duck proven additionally beneficial to U.S. customers during Covid-19?
CDC and WHO guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include social distancing and favouring outdoor, open-air activities. This affects ridership on many standard forms of multi-personnel transportation, leading to a significant warrant for individualized micromobility.
Blue Duck embraces this shift and has continued to operate during these times providing assets that have gone through our comprehensive operating procedures to ensure that riders are receiving clean and well-maintained scooters to assist them during these trying times. We are dedicated to our continued safe operations and are also testing new hardware technologies to utilize on our assets which may prove effective at reducing the spread of Covid-19.