movmi’s Top Moments of 2020

2020. The year when a little tiny virus changed everything. The year when we all of a sudden stopped moving and became very still. 2020 is the year where our lives and the world of transportation changed profoundly. Yet it’s also the year we spent more time at home and with our loved ones. We came together as a community and new collaborations started and existing ones were cultivated. Against all the odds, we have thrived as a society and despite the forever changing 2020 landscape, as a company movmi evolved and flourished. We couldn’t be more proud of everything we have accomplished this year, in the face of so much uncertainty.

This is why we have decided to take a look back at all the great things we accomplished throughout 2020, from collaborations, to real-life projects as well the achievements of our team members and our partners!

Keep reading for a positive look back at the silver linings of 2020! To read our 2020 mobility round-up, featuring our favourite podcasts, blogs and influencers of the year click here.

movmi’s Top Moments of 2020


Carshare City Awards

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The Carsharing Association (CSA) in collaboration with movmi organized the first Carsharing City Awards this year. The Awards were a unique celebration, of the cities and their people, that are leading the way in introducing, maintaining, supporting and recognizing the value of having a sustainable carsharing eco-system.

There were two categories for the carsharing awards: metropolitan and regional. The award ceremony took place, virtually, on May 29th, 2020 in Vancouver, Canada during the annual carsharing conference. Watch the full ceremony above! Over 200 participants from all around the world dialed into the virtual ceremony to celebrate the finalists and winners. In addition, we shared the top 5 policies for any city that wants to create a vibrant eco-system of mobility alternatives.

We asked the mobility community to nominate the cities they thought deserved to be the winner. From these nominees, we asked our five judges, which included; Pam Cooley, Executive Director of the Carsharing Association, Sandra Phillips, CEO and Founder of movmi, Arnd Baetzner, Transit Strategist, Inclusive Urban Policies, Tim Papandreou, Founder, Emerging Transport Advisors and Nico Gabriel, President, SIXT Se, to pick the finalists and decide on the winners based on criteria we established early in the process.

Ghent, Belgium took home the crown for the Regional category and in the Metropolitan Category, Milan, Italy walked away with first prize!


“Empower Women in Shared Mobility” is a collaboration between movmi, ITS America, ABB, GoWithFlow, the Ray and our official media partner Intelligent Mobility Experience (part of the German Vogel Group) as well as a panel of female expert judges from all around the globe.

movmi has been hosting the Women in Shared Mobility interview series for the past 5 years to amplify the voices of female industry leaders that work in transportation and specifically within shared mobility. Over 100 women have shared their views and expert knowledge with our audience to inspire the younger generation in transportation. The Empower Women in Shared Mobility program is taking this effort one step further: the idea is to promote one female led mobility venture for 12 months to encourage success, in as many ways as we possibly can.

We asked our community to apply for the EmpowerWISM program for a chance to win:

  • A 12 month mentoring package with movmi
  • access to the partnership and judges network to grow their business
  • PR opportunities throughout the year to showcase their work

All the applications have been entered and over the next two weeks, the judges will make their deliberations. A winner will be chosen during our virtual award ceremony on January 28th and the top three finalists will have a chance to showcase their work. To be part of the online event, sign up here.


Rebuild tomorrow’s mobility

Copy of With everyone working from home… Do we still need as many roads as we have today 4

Between June 10th to July 5th, 2020, we conducted a survey of residents in Metro Vancouver, concerning their lifestyle changes and travel behaviours during the initial Phase 1 (work-from-home state) and the following recovery Phase 2 of the pandemic. It was conducted online by means of voluntary participation and was distributed mainly by our partner organizations and across social media. We received 958 responses in total and the survey had a confidence rating of 95%.

The top five takeaways we gathered from our questionnaire were:

  1. The benefits of remote work
  2. Life is being lived at a slower pace
  3. Health is the new mobility decision factor
  4. There is a shift towards individual transportation
  5. There is lots of support for shared mobility crop

We discovered from our research that to rebuild tomorrow’s mobility we need a transportation network where infrastructure favours people over vehicles. A system that prioritizes services providing access to shared bikes, buses, cars over individually owned vehicles. We need more resilience in the transportation ecosystem so it can continue to provide access to services for our residents, reduce our region’s carbon footprint, and remain the circulatory system for our local economy.

Check out the report summary here or download the full report here.

Increasing resilience in our transportation ecosystem

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Throughout 2020, our shared mobility ecosystem has changed dramatically. Initially, we saw ridership and usage plummet with public transit suffering the most. People have significantly reduced their amount of travel and in the absence of car traffic during the early days of the pandemic, street space was re-allocated for bike lanes across Europe and North America. More people have decided to use individual modes of transportation as a means to limit their exposure to the virus. Car and bike ownership are on the rise and so are subscription services and other forms of shared mobility.

Our ‘Increasing Resilience in our Transportation Ecosystem’ report is the result of 7 months of primary research we completed with the Covid19 Taskforce. The report includes a consumer survey as well as interviews with industry experts. It focuses particularly on both the changing consumer and industry trends that will an influence the mobility landscape for years to come. We also provide three simple policy recommendations that every city should think about if they want to increase resilience in their transportation ecosystem moving forward.

To download the full report: Insights from the First Wave of the Pandemic, click here. For a written summary of the report click here or watch Sandra’s interview with Tyler Orton from BIV news, for more info on the report below.

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movmi’s projects: 2020 update

movmi specializes in the design, planning and launch of new shared mobility services. Our work spans research, education and the co-creation of new shared mobility services. Our team has deep expertise in all aspects of shared mobility architecture and to date we have been involved in over 60 shared mobility projects worldwide. Our clients range from public agencies (e.g TransLink, City of Calgary, CCA, CUTA) to the private sector (e.g BMW, Bosch, Volvo, HP Group) to the new mobility startup world (e.g ekar, Karhoo, Revel).

Here are a few updates from some of projects we have worked on that are currently thriving, despite the turmoil of 2020.

carshare 2020: ekar

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With movmi’s help in 2016, Ekar was the first pay-as-you-go hourly car rental service to launch in the Middle East. EKar provides mobility solutions for people living and working in the United Arab Emirates, and the Greater Gulf Countries. Ekar’s CEO, Vilhelm Hedberg, was named the Number One Startup to Watch in 2017 by Forbes Magazine. Since then, the company has thrived. In two years’ time, Ekar wants to be the largest car rental player in the Middle East. The company currently operates about 2,000 vehicles, and despite the challenges of the this years pandemic, is on track to surpass 10,000 units by the end of 2021 and wants to hit the milestone of 20,000 vehicles by 2022! Its ‘ekar Fleet’ SaaS platform enables car rental and leasing companies to enable their vehicles onto the ekar app. Already operating in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s first pay-per-minute carshare provider is looking to expand into Turkey, Egypt and Malaysia by the end of next year.

Read movmi’s interview with Vilhelm Hedberg here.

micromobility 2020: revel

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Revel, founded in March 2018 by Frank Reig and Paul Suhey, started an electric shared moped pilot program in Brooklyn which later expanded into Queens. movmi’s Sandra Phillips was an advisor for their first year of operations, often discussing operational strategy at MovinOn, before they had their pilot up and running. Since then Revel has been on a fast-paced growth track, expanding to Austin, Miami and Washington, D.C in its first 18 months of operation with the help of movmi’s SMCI 2019 report, which they used with helping to decide on an expansion strategy. In January, the company launched in Oakland. Despite the pandemic, the company was granted a permit that allowed them to move their operations into San Francisco in August this year.

MaaS: Metro Vancouver’s MaaS pilot

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In October of 2019, with movmi’s help, Metro Vancouver in collaboration with TransLink launched its first every shared mobility compass card pilot. A select group of 14 Vancouver-based employers who employ a combined total of about 200 people, were the first to gain access to the program, which using their shared mobility compass card, allowed them to pay for and unlock travel on Evo Car Share, Modo Co-operative Car Share, and Mobi Bike Share as well as TransLink’s public transit services.

During the bundled shared transportation services pilot, the employers will be able to view employee travel expenses for each mode of travel at the end of the month through a streamlined expense report. The pilot program was completed in August 2020 and results from the pilot and plans for next one are to be released in January of 2021, so stay tuned for updates!

top 2020 moments for the movmi team

Venkatesh Gopal: Shared Mobility Design, Planning and Launch | EV advisor

This year Venkatesh was nominated for Canada’s Clean50 Leaders. A program which annually offers recognition to Canada’s leaders in sustainability for their contributions over the prior two years. Between the pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis, it’s hard to stay positive when things are so uncertain – but the individuals nominated for Clean50 give us hope for a better and cleaner future – including our very own Venkatesh! 

Follow Venkatesh on LinkedIn here.

Sandra Phillips: Founder and CEO of movmi

The concept of smart cities acknowledges the fast pace urban environments change as well as the need for more intelligent and encompassing approaches, which include all sectors into decision-making. This year Sandra was appointed to the faculty of University of St. Gallen’s, Smart City program. 

Anders Bergman: Data Engineer / Analyst at movmi

This year Anders completed a nanodegree in Data Engineering and completed a lighthouse project analysing Austin’s micromobility data using the SMCI methodology, which determines the viability of a city as a market for shared mobility services. The SMCI-PT digitizes mobility data, land use policies and demographic information and visualizes it in an easy-to-use dashboard. We have since used this tool to plan operational areas and parking hubs for micromobility and other shared mobility services. It can be used by private operators to prepare better when launching in a new city or by cities to define where they would like new operators to launch.

what’s to come in 2021?

  • We will be starting two new micro webinar series: ‘Multimodal Mondays’ and ‘Financial Fridays’ – stay tuned for updates!
  • We will continue to increase diversity in shared mobility through programs like ‘Empower Women in Shared Mobility 2021‘. #EmpowerWiSM 
  • We will also be creating an online, e-learning course on ‘Shared Mobility Architecture!’ 

Follow us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with the latest mobility news and our new 2021 initiatives!

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