Top 5 Challenges Our Shared Mobility Clients Bring to Us

Welcome to our latest blog post where we are diving into the top challenges faced by our shared mobility clients and how we tackle them head-on. As experts in the dynamic and ever evolving landscape of the shared mobility industry, we understand the diverse and pressing concerns that cities and shared mobility services encounter.

In this article, we’ll explore the five most common questions and concerns our clients bring to us, sharing insights into our approach and solutions. Whether you’re struggling with increasing your ridership, navigating technology choices, or ensuring seamless integration with public transport, we’re here to provide expert guidance and support.

1. “How can I increase ridership for my service?”

The Problem

Shared Mobility providers struggle to increase their ridership. They typically attract (not target) a specific demographic – typically young, professional males aged 25-35 – neglecting a significant portion of the population and losing out on additional revenue.

How we can help

To increase shared mobility ridership, a varied strategy is essential and will look completely different for each service. We start by looking at existing trip and membership data and map it against our benchmark set. We then conduct a Behavioural Insight Audit of their communication materials and app. Both of these help us identify other customer segments. We then develop a growth plan that covers strategies to increase registrations from other relevant customer segments.

In addition to that, we also strongly recommend strategies that forge partnerships with public transit agencies to facilitate seamless integration and engage with local communities through outreach programs to help create a broader acceptance of shared mobility solutions. 

In some cases, we ask our clients to consider the potential in underserved areas. We advocate for a more inclusive approach to service expansion. By extending coverage to smaller cities and rural communities, shared mobility providers can address unfulfilled transportation needs and therefore create a new user base. 

Another thing we help our clients realise are the benefits of designing services and business models that cater to the diverse needs of all community members, which can include women, older adults, and individuals with disabilities. Service providers can enhance adoption rates and create a more inclusive mobility ecosystem. By prioritizing accessibility and inclusivity, providers can not only increase ridership but also contribute to societal equity and sustainability goals.

If you’d like to learn more about how we convert customers into becoming active shared mobility users through behavioural interventions, check out our Consumer Mindshift service.

Changing consumer mindset and travel behaviour

2. “What technology solutions make the most sense for my business?”

The Problem

Clients frequently come to us with challenges on deciding which new technologies to adopt for their businesses. The rapid pace of technological advancement presents them with too many options, making it difficult to determine which solutions will best suit their business objectives and operational requirements. 

How we can help

We understand the challenges involved in navigating the technology landscape, which is why we begin by creating a baseline assessment with our clients to gain a deep understanding of their business goals, challenges, and operational processes. We also take into account factors such as industry trends, competitive landscape, and target market dynamics.

We then work closely with our clients to evaluate the pros and cons of both in-house development and ready-to-go tech solutions. We consider factors such as budget constraints, time constraints, scalability requirements, and the need for future flexibility. Our goal is to provide our clients with a comprehensive understanding of the potential risks and benefits associated with each approach, allowing them to make informed decisions that work with their business objectives.

Unless a client has very strong software development and product management acumen, we always recommend to go with “buy” instead of “build” first. Once the client has been operational for a while, they will understand exactly what they need from a functionality, cost and scalability perspective and can start building their own technology.

If you’d like to see our work in action, make sure you check out our client work with ekar. We helped launch their carsharing service and helped them ensure seamless customer experience through technology and customer services.

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If you’d like to learn more about choosing the right tech vendor for your business, check out our 2018 whitepaper. We conducted in-depth interviews with top carsharing technology vendors for carshare operators to find out how they support their customers. 

3. “How can I better connect my shared mobility service with public transport?”

The Problem

Many of our clients face the challenge of effectively integrating their shared mobility services with existing public transportation networks. They are in need of a strategy to create seamless connections that enhance the overall mobility experience for users.

How we can help

Depending on the requirements of each client, we approach the challenge of integrating shared mobility services with public transportation networks at various levels. We start by assessing the current level of integration, which may be at ground zero with no integration at all. From there, we tailor our approach to meet the specific needs of each client.

For instance, at level one, we focus on physical integration. This work could entail helping our client establish neighborhood mobility stations near key transit hubs and densely populated areas. These stations provide easy access and smooth transitions between different modes of transportation, enhancing overall user experience.

As we move up the integration ladder, we take a look at digital integration, which involves assisting our clients with digital registration, booking, payment, and finally fare integration. The higher we go up the ladder the more advanced the integrations become and that requires trust between parties. Trust to share data and the ultimate trust – creating a fare bundle package that is all inclusive.

Our team has product management experience and combined with our background in shared mobility operations, it allows us to help define the right features and requirements that will make a multimodal system successful.

Learn more about successful integration in our Multimodal Case Study Index. 

We share the 8 cities and regions that have implemented strategies for creating multimodal integrated transportation systems and how the the multimodal transportation system works within each network

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4. “I don’t think a Shared Mobility service can ever be profitable.”

The Problem

There’s a misconception that shared mobility services are doomed to be unprofitable. This misconception often comes from reading headlines of VC backed startups or automotive manufacturers (with no experts in running consumer service businesses) failing.

How we can help

We’re committed to challenging this misconception head-on. We firmly believe in the profitability potential of shared mobility services when it’s approached in a strategic way. 

We do this first by highlighting to our clients the potential for profitability through strategic growth initiatives and service enhancements. By analyzing market trends and leveraging data analytics, we identify opportunities to help scale our client’s user base and to optimize service their offerings. Our financial modelling builds out different scenarios so our clients can compare impacts of different initiates and revenue streams over time.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you create a Growth Strategy to achieve profitability in your shared mobility service. Check out our ‘Boost the Bottom Line’ service.

Boost the bottom line of your shared mobility service

5. “What would it cost to fund a shared mobility service?” or “How long do we have to keep funding a shared mobility service?”

The Problem

Shared mobility services present both operators and city officials with a need for clarity regarding their financial viability and long-term sustainability. Operators must understand the financial implications of launching and maintaining a service, while city officials need assurance that public funds allocated to support these initiatives are invested wisely.

How we can help

For operators, we offer comprehensive financial analysis and planning services. This involves developing detailed projections that span three years, taking into account various factors such as initial investments, operational costs (including maintenance, staffing, and technology), and revenue streams (including fares, subscriptions, and potential partnerships). Through scenario planning, we provide operators with valuable insights into the financial implications of launching and operating shared mobility services. This enables them to make informed decisions about funding allocation, pricing strategies, and long-term sustainability.

For city officials, we help our clients understand the revenue and cost factors involved in operating a service. We create a baseline financial plan that considers both optimistic and conservative user adoption scenarios. This plan helps our clients visualize key utilization parameters and illustrates how they will impact financial feasibility. Our goal is to make sure city staff receive the right tools and information allowing them to establish a shared mobility service with operators. We can also support our clients to achieve this goal by identifying and securing funding opportunities, such as grants, to support their new mobility roadmap.

If you’d like to learn more about how we’ve helped clients identify new business streams, opportunities for cost saving in operations and created strategies for self-sustaining growth, check out our work with Flex Carsharing below.

If any of these questions resonate with you and your business, rest assured that we’re here to lend a hand. Backed by a track record of 70+ successful international projects and a team of seasoned shared mobility professionals, we’re well-equipped to deal with any challenge your business is facing.

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Struggling with profitability of your shared mobility service? Get in touch