Comstock's magazine 1218 - December 2018 - Page 87

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT Earlier this year, a fleet of red bikes in- vaded the streets of Sacramento seem- ingly overnight. JUMP began its 900- bike rollout in May, and the program has grown more rapidly in the Sacramento region than in any other city, according to a company spokesperson. A 2017 study by the National Association of City Trans- portation Officials cites that the average American bikeshare program experiences 1.7 rides per bike per day, but according to statistics provided by JUMP, its bikes ex- perienced 6.5 rides per day in Sacramento as of September. The many cyclists leisurely pedal- ing Sacramento-area streets anecdotally proves JUMP’s popularity, but the pro- gram also belies the city’s commitment to programs and partnerships that will shape the future of mobility in Sacramento, im- prove the economy, and perhaps establish Sacramento as a new leader in innovative automotive technology and infrastructure. “Here in Sacramento, we are rapidly establishing our city as a testing ground for new technologies that will improve mobility for our residents, help fight cli- mate change and create the jobs of the 21st century,” says Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We are also a leader in promoting the use of shared vehicles, including JUMP electric bikes and new on-demand shuttles launched by Region- al Transit. Soon, we will deploy the largest shared fleet of electric cars in the nation.” That fleet will include more than 400 vehicles between rideshare companies Envoy and Gig, with rollouts beginning in November and early 2019 respectively, thanks to a $44 million Green City Investment in Sacramento by Electrify America, a result of Volkswagen’s 2016 multibillion-dollar settlement for falsifying emissions. Electrify America chose Sacramento as the first recipient of the Green City Investment based on three criteria: city size, mobility fit and potential impact. Envoy’s cofounder Ori Sagie agrees with Electrify America’s assessment that Sacramento is the right fit for testing zero- emission vehicle programs. “As California’s fastest-growing big city, Sacramento is a great setting to eval- uate the latest mobility solutions. Sacra- mento’s growth means there is demand for car sharing, but it’s still small enough to be a test region,” Sagie says. “Sacramento serves as an example for the rest of Cali- fornia, and for other cities across the na- tion seeking to add EV infrastructure.” According to Jennifer Gress, policy director for Mayor Steinberg’s office, the $44 million investment already is drawing attention, in addition to contracts with En- voy and Gig. “Investment begets more investment,” Gress says. “If we have a lot of activity here, people want to be close to that. Be- fore we were even approved as a Green City, a lot of companies were reaching out to us. Mercedes wanted to form a partner- ship on dealer education on EV, and that Sacramento is one of two cities where they’ve launched their EV sales — I think that is really significant.” In addition to the Green City Invest- ment, a recent delegation of leaders from “As California’s fastest-growing big city, Sacramento is a great setting to evaluate the latest mobility solutions. Sacramento’s growth means there is demand for car sharing, but it’s still small enough to be a test region.” - Ori Sagie, co-founder, Envoy the greater Sacramento region traveled to Germany in September to meet with au- tomotive industry leaders and tour PEM Aachen GmbH, an innovation hub and in- cubator that funds research and prototype development of innovative technologies by startups and local university students. Jai- me Lemus, division manager of transpor- tation and climate change at Sacramento December 2018 | comstocksmag.com 87