Motivate LLC brings new dimensions to the micro mobility market
Bike share pioneer Motivate LLC is known for making bold business decisions in the emerging micro mobility market. This Brooklyn-born business seeks to make cities more accessible, sustainable, and healthy, using a data-driven model to optimize operations and logistics in a way that allows them to launch full-speed into visionary projects that build on their expertise.
Supporting the biggest operator of bike share systems in North America, Motivate provides logistics, infrastructure support, and labor in eight of the largest urban markets on the continent, including New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. The firm supports 6 out of 10 of the largest bike share systems in the U.S., including Washington, D.C.'s, Capital Bikeshare, CitiBike in New York City and Jersey City, Portland’s Biketown, and Boston’s Blue Bikes.
While bike sharing was steadily growing in popularity before the pandemic, the public health crisis has benefitted the industry beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, boosting Motivate’s ridership to record levels across all their markets and obliterating their already robust growth forecasts. There are any number of reasons for the surge — the desire to avoid public transportation being one significant mover — but the stunning uptick in new users show that bike shares are here to stay, and they can and should get even greener.
“When you're handling all of the logistics, moving bikes, switching out batteries, making repairs, the next evolution is bound to be doing that in a more environmentally sustainable way,” said Motivate CEO Matthew Parker. “Instead of using gas-powered vehicles and vans, we have begun to utilize electric bikes and trikes as well as exploring electric vehicles From a technology perspective, we've already started reducing our carbon footprint in our bigger markets.”
That said, Motivate is about much more than bikes.
“The overall vision of Motivate is to become a sustainable green company that is all about urbanization and cleaning up urban environments,” Parker said. “Since becoming CEO three years ago, I’ve had a vision of diversifying the company into many different portfolios.” At present, bike sharing services represent more than 90% of Motivate’s revenues, and while they and while they continue to expect a smooth ride in that area, they are advancing into other areas of mobility-as-a-service that are poised for disruption.
Parker, whose executive leadership roles include tenure at GE and Tesla, sees ample room for sustainable transportation alternatives in the ultra-hot last-mile delivery sector. “COVID-19 has highlighted the need for these types of services, and to deliver them on a greener scale,” he said.
Andre Farand, Accenture’s managing director of consulting for post and parcel businesses, agrees. “The sustainability gains that came from the pandemic were unintentional. Now it’s time to get intentional and make the last mile more efficient, less expensive, and more eco-friendly,” Farand said. “The whole last-mile ecosystem — post and parcel organizations, retailers, delivery companies, governments and consumers — is at a tipping point. Go one way, and it can create a truly sustainable last mile — faster, cheaper, and greener. Go the other way, and things worsen unchecked.”
For Parker, the direction is clear. “We have a brand called Spheara that handles our last-mile business, and we’re working with a leading online retailer, and international convenience store chain, as well as some newcomers to the rapid grocery delivery market that are expanding into a greener approach to last-mile delivery,” he said.
Another new brand, Urban Mobility Services, is focused on beautifying cities by keeping them cleaner in a greener way. “In New York, for example, we handle street cleaning, graffiti removal, window washing, and beautifying the fronts of stores,” Parker said. The technology-driven model that’s driving their success in bike share also supports the new endeavors.
As company COO Faith Wood put it, “AI technology allows us to scale up operations very quickly, and it's also reduced over $1 million of costs that clients would ultimately absorb. It's really a win-win for us and our clients, but most importantly for the customer, because if the customer needs something we have that ability to quickly respond through our AI technology.”
Wood, who directed operations at Nike and Caterpillar prior to joining Motivate, is leveraging her extensive background in Lean Six Sigma as well as global logistics and manufacturing to lead a journey of continuous improvement rooted in standardization — a must for any operation with a rapidly expanding scope.
In her view, “in the box” thinking restricts the creative energy needed to optimize the success of new projects. “It's about brainstorming, taking ideas, expanding them, and then challenging ourselves,” she said. This approach “drives efficiency and improvements, and we measure how quickly we can do things while never sacrificing quality or safety. It’s amazing what this team has already developed and put into place across all our markets. We're ready for that next area of growth.”
Motivate’s relationship-based, operations-focused culture focuses on creating an environment where they support but also push each other to achieve things we did not think were possible. “I’m not a big fan of people who are just out for themselves. I like high achievers who understand that how they achieve is just as important as what they achieve. It is just like any sports team, we all have roles to play but the reality is we win and lose as a team. I want people who want to win championships, not MVP trophies,” Wood said.
When it comes to micro mobility, Motivate isn’t just on the right track, they’re clearing a cleaner, greener path for the rest of the industry to follow.
Motivate is a best-in-class service operations and logistics company, delivering bike share services to some of the largest urban environments in the U.S.
We operate in eight cities across the U.S. including New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and will serve over 1.5 million riders this year alone.
Led by a group of seasoned urban visionaries and operations leaders our mission is to revolutionize the landscape of our cities.
In an effort to completely transform the urban experience, Motivate is leading the way in making cities more accessible, healthier and sustainable.
We operate and maintain safe and dependable systems that help make cities great by connecting individuals to the people and places they love.
We’re offering an opportunity to work with the most passionate, creative and proven team in this emerging, dynamic industry that is transforming cities around the globe.
353 West St, Suite 225
New York, NY 10014