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Surviving Finland’s Autumn: Operator’s Guide to Dark & Cold Nights!
Surviving Finland's Autumn: Operator's Guide to Dark & Cold Nights!

As the endless Finnish summer nights give way to the dark cold days of autumn, the e-scooter industry undergoes a significant transformation. Normally we see the cold weather arriving sometime in September in southern Finland however, fortunately for the operators, summer-like weather lasted up until the first days of October, which is great for rides and customer usage. Just as nature adapts to the changing seasons, e-scooter operators must also adjust their strategies to accommodate shifting user behaviors due to weather conditions.

One of the most apparent shifts is the decrease in ride durations. In the summer, riders often enjoy leisurely rides, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. However, as autumn sets in, people tend to use e-scooters more for quick, point-to-point trips. This shift reflects the changing priorities of riders who are increasingly focused on efficiency and getting to their destinations swiftly, often to escape the brisk autumn air whether they are on or off a scooter.

A frosty pause: e-scooter lying in a snowy embrace, while our electric van looms ready in the background.

Freshly rebalanced e-scooters stand ready for riders amidst the serene autumn aura in Pakkala, Vantaa.

As winter approaches, e-scooter usage becomes more utilitarian, with commuters relying on e-scooters for their daily transportation needs. No longer are users interested in leisurely rides as the cold air usually makes trips less enjoyable for the majority however, you never know with the Finns who like to jump into frozen lakes for fun. This shift in purpose highlights the versatility of e-scooters as a mode of transportation that can seamlessly transition from leisurely rides in the sun to efficient and practical commuting tools as the seasons change, demonstrating their continued relevance in urban mobility.

The change in temperature underscores the importance of operator strategies aimed at ensuring the availability and convenience of e-scooters for these shorter, essential trips during the colder months. So how do operators adapt?

Dubs’ original heatmap provides a rough glimpse into weekly demand using 15-minute intervals. Days are plotted on the x-axis, time on the y-axis, with color intensity spotlighting peak demand. It’s a simplified guide to pinpoint popular usage times.

A critical imperative is faced at this time of the year: ensuring the optimal distribution of fleets to high-traffic areas. This strategic decision plays a pivotal role in maximizing ridership and overall profitability during a period when ride frequency tends to decrease due to inclement weather. Operators must prioritize key locations such as train stations, shopping centers, schools, and work districts to meet the utilitarian needs of riders.

E-scooter operators must strategically focus on peak transportation hours, especially during the morning and afternoon. Ensuring a robust e-scooter fleet availability during the morning rush hour, when commuters heavily depend on them for their daily journeys to work, school, or other transportation, is paramount. maintaining e-scooter accessibility during the afternoon is even more vital. Constant availability for return trips encourages users to consistently opt for this mode of transportation. You also get the highest usage rate in the afternoon as you also receive many rides for other reasons than just work and school such as errands and hobbies, keeping a constant high usage rate between one and nine o’clock in the evening.

Operators who choreograph their fleets to match peak hours and changing weather conditions won’t just weather the chill – they’ll warm up to a season of soaring profitability. So, as the leaves fall and the temperature drops, remember: when it comes to e-scooters, success is about timing, and in autumn, timing is everything!

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