Verizon taps into the sharing economy to make the last mile of commuting easy

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Marie McGehee
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Everyday, people commute to work or to university campuses using mass transit. Whether it’s a college or a business campus, reaching the last mile of a commuter’s final destination between transit stops can be daunting. To help alleviate this issue, Verizon is working with Swiftmile to make the last mile of commuting easy by getting commuters on “smart” electric bikes.

Whether you’re just starting out or expanding an established business, Verizon Share solutions are designed to provide an easy entry into a sharing economy that’s booming. Swiftmile will use Verizon’s newly-enhanced internet of things (IoT)-enabled Share Solutions platform as part of its electronic bike (ebike) transit share system. In turn, Swiftmile will deploy its ebikes, powered by Verizon Share Solutions, to the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA) – a special purpose district responsible for public transit services, congestion management and specific highway improvement projects for Santa Clara County, California.

“The investment that Verizon is making in communications infrastructure to support the growing internet of things will profoundly impact all aspects of our lives including transportation,” said Gary Miskell, Chief Technology Officer for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. “Innovative projects like Swiftmile’s solar powered eBikes can increase the use of alternative transportation options, including public transit and reduce harmful carbon emissions.”

“These are important mobility options that reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles thus reducing congestion,” Miskell continued.

According to Swiftmile CEO Colin Roche, VTA employees will have access to Swiftmile’s eBikes through the new Swiftapp, where they can "tap, rent and roll" for short distance commutes. “By doing so, VTA employees will decrease single occupancy trips that are the main cause of congestion, smog and added stress to our daily lives. It also provides for a much more fun, green and efficient way to get around without the worry of breaking a sweat,” said Roche.

“We are thrilled to work with Swiftmile to help deliver the Verizon Share platform to the VTA,” said Mike Toto,” Director - IoT Product Development & Strategic Planning at Verizon. “Our work with Swiftmile demonstrates how companies are looking to grow their revenue and stay ahead of their competition by providing their end customers with an easy, on-demand ‘mobility- as- a-service’ experience, which aligns with the growing trend from ownership to “usership”.

Verizon Ventures also announced Swiftmile as the latest company to join the portfolio. Transportation solutions that aim to solve the complex problem of working with existing urban infrastructure has also been a focus for Verizon Ventures. To learn more about how Verizon Ventures is working with entrepreneurs in emerging sectors, click here.

Other examples of Verizon’s Share Solutions platform include:

  • Helping construction companies monetize idle assets by making them available for rent anytime and improve customer satisfaction by offering a flexible, self-service experience.
  • Enabling recreation equipment rental companies to deliver an on-demand, user-friendly rental experience to millennials while driving new revenue opportunities.
  • Making transportation options align with campus sustainability initiatives to reduce congestion, and improve accessibility.