Waterloo company takes aim at scooter travel
Published Wednesday, May 8, 2019 6:11PM EDT
A Waterloo-based company is entering the foray of micro-transit.
The scooters that are used around Waterloo Region are from the California-based company Lime, but Zip Dockless Inc. was developed at Communitech.
“We’re the first Canadian dockless scooter company that’s based in Canada,” says Zip Dockless founder Luke Mydlarz.
He says his company will have a similar user experience to Lime: using an app to locate units and scanning a QR code to unlock and ride them.
There’s one key difference though: unlike Lime, they’re not on the road yet.
In October, the American company launched a successful pilot project with the City of Waterloo. More than 18,000 trips spanning almost 20,000 kilometres were made in nine weeks.
That’s all within a pilot area on University of Waterloo property.
“We know it’s popular, it’s on a 5.5 kilometre route, so that’s a lot of trips in a small boundary,” explains Ryan Mounsey with the city.
Zip says it was speaking to Waterloo about a partnership around the same time as Lime, but the American company was much further ahead in its development.
Zip, meanwhile, has partnered with the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance to provide scooters on campus, but the company is waiting for the province to review rules and regulations for scooters before fully launching.
Ontario law doesn’t allow scooters to use public roads or sidewalks, which is why Lime uses UW’s private property.
“I think that being a local company and a Canadian company will really resonate with Canadians,” Mydlarz says. “I think as we continue to develop, that will also set us apart.”
Zip’s mobile application is in a testing phase right now. The company says it’s speaking with different cities as it waits for a full service launch.