We’re one month closer to launch, and results are in! Just shy of 300 people participated in our pre-launch survey that went live for two weeks in August. We’re very encouraged by the response and interest in the system so early on, still months from launch. The survey is looking to gauge how residents and visitors of the city currently navigate to and around its downtown, and how that might change once the program launches. We’ll use this data to gauge our success following the first year of operation in St. Petersburg.
One of Coast’s largest goals is to cater to trips in and around downtown that are somewhere between one and three miles in length. The largest mode in traveling to downtown is by far the personal vehicle, and while we can’t do much to change that, it’s our goal to enable people to park once and utilize bike share for inner city trips. Of the 46% of people choosing to drive to get downtown, 38% are currently using their car for trips within downtown, a statistic we strongly believe we will change.
A statistic we were thrilled to see is that 81% of the people who responded owned their own bike, and 53% of those people had been on their bike within the past month. Keep in mind, that’s in the middle of August. Add to that the challenge it is to actually get your bike to touch pavement in downtown. If you live outside of the city, it likely involves loading it up onto a bus or in your car. If you live downtown, you could be faced with the process of digging your bike out of the corner of your apartment and lugging it downstairs. While we love our personal bikes as much as the next person for long rides, imagine how easy it will be to simply walk by a bike, enter an account number, and breeze a few blocks to your destination. Without the hassle, and spreading thirty hubs around the city, we expect that 53% number to increase.
Finally, our favorite stat to see is how respondents see Coast fitting into their daily lives. Our mission here at Coast is to connect communities, be that in the literal sense such as the Deuces to Downtown, or in the figurative sense such as your friends, football buddies, or your family. Sixty-one percent said they would use Coast for exactly this reason.
Coast can also save time, and therefore money when it comes to the office. Thirty-three percent said they would use it for mid-day errands during the work week. Walking isn’t always the most efficient form of travel, and hopping in your car and fighting for parking spaces across downtown sucks up a ton of time. We’re excited that we may be able to help make that work day task into a fun, quick, adventure!