Micromobility provider Spin is trialling a public-private partnership to provide free transportation to low income residents in a US city.
Spin, formerly owned by motor company Ford before it was bought by Tier Mobility in March 2022, is providing free access to shared mobility and public transit services to 50 low income residents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as part of the pilot project.
The City of Pittsburgh has partnered with Spin and three mobility service providers for the project, intended to help improve residents’ access to jobs, education and basic services, helping boost their socio-economic status.
Philip Reinckens, Spin CEO, said: “Making mobility more equitable and reliable is central to Spin’s mission and we see great potential for positive impact in the Pittsburgh community, and beyond.
“By piloting a wide variety of free transit and mobility options, cities and service providers like Spin are looking to support data-driven policy making that will ultimately improve people’s lives.”
Carnegie Mellon University will carry out research during the project, to track the economic, health, and social outcomes of the participants.
In total, 100 people will take part in the pilot and will be randomly allocated to two groups: 50 of them will receive free access to transportation services including public transport, Spin scooters, POGOH bikes, and Zipcar, and 50 of them will not to compare results.
The pilot is funded by a $200,000 grant awarded from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, with Spin contributing an additional $50,000.
“Having access to affordable and reliable transportation is critical in helping families across our city find a pathway to prosperity,” said Pittsburgh Mayor, Ed Gainey. “This pilot program will help us more fully understand just how much of an impact transportation has on the lives and wellbeing of people in Pittsburgh.”
The trial will focus on the Manchester and Chateau neighbourhoods in Pittsburgh. Manchester was chosen as the median income in the neighbourhood is 14% below the median income for the wider city.
“Affordable transportation is a huge issue in Manchester and many of our neighbours, unfortunately, don’t have many opportunities within their own neighbourhood and need to go elsewhere,” said LaShawn Burton Faulk, executive director of the Manchester Citizens Corporation.
“We are excited to be home to this UBM pilot and see how it might improve the quality of life of our most vulnerable Manchestrians.”