Now that we have resumed normal travel behaviour (in a post-pandemic world) towns and cities across the globe are working hard to give tourists a wonderful experience exploring their regions. Shared mobility plays a role in helping tourists navigate easily around urban areas and to explore areas outside of the city by providing the right mode for the different trip needs. As it is #WorldTourismDay we wanted to highlight a few shared mobility companies that have made strides within the tourism industry and to showcase two different cities (Whistler & Honolulu) and the transportation services they offer to visitors.
Whistler, B.C. – Shared Mobility Options For Tourists
Whistler, B.C. is set up for car-free exploring year-round with pedestrian-only shopping areas in Whistler Village and Creekside, over 40 km of paved, multi-use Valley Trail and plenty of ways to get to, and around the resort.
Whistler is approximately two hours away from Vancouver and two-and-a-half hours from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) by road, and there’s a plethora of transfer options to get you from the city to the mountains in comfort. Dedicated shuttle buses running multiple services up and down each day, chartered vehicles of all shapes and sizes, even helicopter and floatplane transfers (seasonal) for an extra-special look at the mountains on the way.
Another low-cost way to travel from Vancouver to Whistler is by using Poparide, a carpooling app that helps you catch a ride with drivers heading the same direction, anywhere in Canada. Vancouver to Whistler was the first route Poparide catered for when they launched back in 2014 and movmi has been a been a supporter ever since. Signing up to Poparide is free and you can book an affordable ride to your next destination in minutes. Passengers pay in advance on their secure online platform and drivers receive payment to their bank account or PayPal once the trip is completed.
Public Transit, Taxis & Rideshares
BC Transit operates bus routes connecting Whistler Village, Creekside and neighbourhoods north and south including express services to Creekside and Cheakamus. Seasonal, free shuttle services are also available to Lost Lake Park (summer), Marketplace (winter) and the Upper Village (year-round).
For getting directly from point A to B, there are two taxi companies and a rideshare company in Whistler operating 24 hours a day, Whistler Resort Cabs, Whistler Taxi, Whistle! Rideshare and Taxi. With vehicles ranging from mini vans to full-sized sedans, Whistler’s taxi cabs and rideshares make it easy to bring your ski, snowboard or golf gear. Taxis can be booked for trips to and from Vancouver International Airport and neighbouring towns.
This summer Evolve E-Bike Share the electric bike share service created by the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA), is excited to launch a three-month custom e-bike pilot designed specifically to support Whistler’s mobility and environmental goals in partnership with the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW).
Evolve E-Bikes are on the road today – with the fleet increasing to 60 e-bikes towards the end of the pilot. Members can pick up and drop off e-bikes at any of the E-bike Parking Zones around Whistler Village and surrounding parks, including Meadow Park Sports Centre, Rainbow Park, Whistler Olympic Plaza, and Fitzsimmons Connector.
For exploring further afield – finding lakes, trailheads and other neighbourhoods – you can use the Valley Trail, which goes all the way through Whistler from one end to the other and is for non-motorised users only (e-bikes get a pass as long as the owners keep the speed to cruise).
Whistler Blackcomb resort is home to two huge mountains, both over 2,100 metres tall. Across these two mountains, there’s a ton of terrain for pretty much every snow sports lover out there. And to access it, there’s a grand total of five gondolas, sixteen Chair-lifts, and three T-bars, making up a whopping 24 lifts altogether.
Plenty of lifts are open for sightseeing in the summer too, including the Whistler, Blackcomb, and Peak 2 Peak Gondolas, and the Peak chairlift. There’s also the world-famous Whistler Mountain Bike Park, served by plenty of chairlifts so you don’t even have to pedal uphill. The Peack-to-Peak Gondola offers stunning 360-degree views of Whistler Village, mountain peaks, lakes, glaciers and forests
Honolulu, Hawaii – Shared Mobility Options For Tourists
Fringed by beautiful beaches and fronted by palms, Honolulu is the most visited destination in Hawaii and also where the majority of Oʻahu residents live, so traffic congestion is usually very high. However, there are plenty of shared mobility options available for traveling tourists that are less expensive than renting a car for the entire trip.
TheBus, the city’s public transportation system, is a reliable and easy way to get around, and fares are very affordable: journeys start at $2.75 one way. If you are vacationing for several days, consider getting a HOLO pass; you can charge the card with credit and use it to pay for bus rides, and the total daily spend on bus fares is capped at $5.50, even if you go right across the island. You can pick up a pass at ABC stores, Times Supermarket and Foodland locations.
Hui Car Share was a client of movmi’s and we had the privilege of helping them launch their service back in 2018. movmi provided the roadmap to help them get to the desired destination, assisting with key aspects such as technology, insurance, operations and marketing strategies. Hui Car Share has seventeen locations around the Waikiki beach area in Honolulu which you can access via an app, making it much easier to use compared to the national car rental brands like Enterprise, Avis, Advantage, Thrifty and Hertz. Hui is just a couple minutes away from hotels like the Waikiki Beach Marriott, Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and Sheraton Waikiki Beach. All stations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can pick up and drop off a car at any time but you must return the vehicle back to the pickup location. Ride starts at $0.20 for 1 minute and goes up to $125 for 1 day.
Electric scooters are a super fun way for tourists to explore Waikiki, Honolulu, go around Diamond Head and even venture out as far as Kahala. Go X is the shared electric scooter company in Honolulu that allows users to rent the e-scooters, typically paying by the minute, then drop them off at one of the 50+ business partner locations displayed on the company’s mobile app. Each scooter called Cruiser travels 15 mi/h, has 30 miles distance on it and can be accessed 24/7.
Cycling can be a good option for sightseeing. Biki, Honolulu’s bike-sharing program, has 1300 bikes and more than 130 bike stands dotted around Honolulu; affordable fares start at $4 and non-residents can rent bikes for up to five hours at a time. You can purchase a pass at the kiosk or download the Biki app. The main difference between renting a bike and using Biki is that you can choose your ride time (it can be as short as you like) and you don’t have to drop it off in the location to got it from due to the many Biki bike stations around Honolulu.
Shared Mobility Companies That Are Working Within The Tourism Industry
With the rise of unique stays popping up everywhere, guests’ needs are changing. They no longer just want a place to stay, they want an entire experience. Mount’s creating the ultimate shared economy where travelers can find what they need and the locals provide it for them. Their SaaS platform enables private real estate companies such as Airbnbs, Hotels, Hostels, and Apartments to launch, manage and monetize fleets of recreational assets that include rentable bikes, scooters, golf carts, kayaks, paddleboards and more!
Zeamly is an early-stage technology startup building a future of carbon neutrality for urban dwellers. Sustainable development in tourism and scalability are at the center of Zeamly’s work. Their AI platform includes digital services that promote carbon neutrality for both city organizations and companies, extending all the way to the mobile application used by travelers, with a Co2e plugin microservice which can be integrated into booking and ECommerce sites. Their dashboard is easy to use and offers decision-making tools that support carbon-neutral procurement to help cities manage the environmental impacts of tourism, share best sustainable development practices, and implement carbon-neutral public sector operations. Their plugin, implemented with a microservice, enables easy and equal scalability for different tourism industries.
When we think about tourism, it’s easy to focus on the ‘pleasure’ rather than the ‘business’ side of travel. Companies that require their employees to travel a lot for work, would like to go greener, but it can be complicated. Allihop makes it easy for employees to access green travel. They are the first green business travel platform with direct booking capacity for trains, buses, e-cars, e-scooters and bikes – enabling businesses to easily access green mobility in all European countries and cities. Their aim is to support companies in reducing their CO2 emissions from corporate travel, to encourage more green modes of transport and reduce private bookings.
Multimodal Transportation Strategies For Tourists
To ensure visitor travel is a seamless and convenient, tourist towns and cities around the world should implement a multimodal strategy. Creating better transportation options does not necessarily require building new infrastructure. When visitors can easily move around and sight-see due to a variety of transportation options, they’re more likely to come back.
Every four years one lucky city has the opportunity to host the Olympic games. They receive hundreds of thousands of tourists during this two week period in summer. They have to implement transportation strategies that will allow visitors and residents to move around easily and to prevent heavy congestion. How do they do this? Although massive investments are made into upgrading transportation options (like Vancouver’s Canada line for the 2010 Olympics) the real solution comes from changing people’s travel behaviour.
Despite a huge increase in the number of people in Vancouver during the Olympics and the many road closures, vehicles traveling to and from downtown decreased by a third. The city added 180 more buses, introduced a street car line and extended SeaBus and SkyTrain hours. By giving people many different options for commuting, the number of transit trips increased by a third and the number of pedestrian and cycling trips tripled.
If we combine these Olympic strategies with shared mobility services, we can create seamless and convenient journeys for both residents and tourists visiting our cities. With attractive transportation options like these, who wouldn’t want to come back and visit again?