Spin, the San Francisco-based electric bicycle- and scooter-sharing company, said it will invest up to $2 million in university research on micromobility at Michigan State University and the University of Utah.
"We want it to be a collaborative process. Our anchors here are the common goals that we share with universities around transportation," said John Lankford, Spin's head of campus partnerships. "So we've got three buckets that we've identified. Reducing those single-occupancy vehicle trips, and instead, use an E-bike or an E-scooter, increased parking compliance and educating our rider base on safety."
Lankford said inclusion would also be a focus of Spin's research.
"The fourth one I would mention is equity. Equity in the sense that the numbers of people who embrace shared mobility skew white and male. And we know the benefits apply to everybody. So trying to understand some of the decision-making and some of the barriers that are in place is sort of the fourth topic for us," Lankford said.
Researchers expect to have their findings in the coming months, Lankford said.
"I think we're going to have great information at the end of the fall semester," Lankford said. "Then by December, we should have some good learnings and I think we'll be starting to write about it come next year."
Lankford said it helps to work with college students who may care more about sustainability than other groups.
"What's most exciting about the research in the university space is that we have this opportunity to reach students and give them the opportunity to ultimately use more sustainable transportation. Which I think most of them care a lot about."