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Last-Mile Shuttles via E-cycles

E-Cycle Shuttles for last-mile trips within Depot impact area, with fixed routes & docking stations. Cargo included.

Photo of Alejandro Perez
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Cargo-Mobility

Petal’s primary service is cargo mobility. This is why cars are great, we use them to move ourselves and our stuff. We make cycle haulers for short trip solutions. We make automotive range mobility at the price-scale of an e-bike.

Our TR-1 model is an e-cargo bike, powerful while agile in the bike lane. Our QD-4 is a self-standing, cycle-hauling quad with a greater load threshold than the TR-1. Both self-standing and strong, the QD-4 adaptable for a variety of work-utility applications. 

We ride to haul, which fundamentally changes the orientation of the operator. Our equipment is designed to ride with a low center of gravity for greater stability & efficiency. Additionally, this new orientation brings the added benefits of greater comfort, visibility and leg-strength. We use Promoly steel frames with integrated technology.

Integrated Hardware

We make e-cargo bikes for low emissions with cargo room. We keep track of equipment activity & security with our app. Petal cycles are equipped with pedal-assist to boost cargo hauling capability. Our equipment is electric, running on lithium ion batteries.

Our fleets are supported by remote, pop-up docking stations comprised of mobile pieces of equipment. These are designed to receive power from our primary power source to recharge the cargo equipment's' batteries at docking stations, for low recharge times. When operating within our station network, our equipment can go for 40 miles with 60-second stops and on again, in perpetuity.

Our Fleets

We install pop-ups, remote docking stations along with fleets of equipment and a cache of removable, rechargeable batteries. Our remote docking system is designed to sustain a continuous flow of quick power for swift equipment reboot and optimum fleet efficiency.

We train a team of Petal riders to perform tasks using our shuttle program. We also render our fleets available for riders that are commuting short trips within the shuttle network, using equipment swiftly and returning it at a respective docking station when done. Additionally, Petal equipment is made available for rent at hourly or daily rates.

The Elements

Snow is an important topic for Petal. While two-wheeled bikes are challenging if not prohibitive in the snow, Petal’s trikes and quads, with grip tires, perform well in snowy conditions. We find that people enjoy the weather, especially when the snow is falling.

At Petal we believe in a preparedness-first approach to riding through the elements, our equipment is our boldest statement toward elemental readiness. Additionally, we prescribe preparedness in our riders when they meet the elements, so that tasks are finished unencumbered while the operator is minimally affected by precipitation & extreme temperature.

 

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

Residents gain access to low-cost, last-mile mobility as well as job openings to charge, supervise and maintain fleets in the program. Visitors gain increased range of access to sites and activities inside and around impact area.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

We have received great feedback from local businesses and cycling enthusiasts. They are ready to embrace alternative mobility by addressing a tangible problem with a fun practice that is good for the health of the city and its residents.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Petal is a boutique design shop focused on last-mile mobility. We are exploring the potential of the cycling medium to solve the problems of urban congestion. Please take a look at our website for a better idea of what we are building to transform last-mile mobility. Our website is: petal.us and madrepinc.com

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

https://petal.us

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • Yes

Funding Request

  • $250,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

Build-up of Petal App for tracking services: Fabrication of prototype-fleet for beta program: Recruitment & training of Riders, Chargers & Technicians: Marketing & advertising: Pop-Ups & Docking Stations: Tracking fees and other expenses_like legal & licensing:

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We propose to offer e-cargo-cycle mobility services for making food deliveries, parcel services and everyday logistics where a car would be perfect but we don't always have access to one. We plan to install 4 pop-up charging stations at Michigan Central Station and 3 other adjacent areas of the city to promote business connectivity as well as general mobility via e-cargo-cycle equipment. We can do this in two ways with businesses: First, find situations where there is a need for mobility services. Second, create new means of mobility services where they do not yet exist. In both scenarios we presume cycles to be a viable medium to solve these problems and offer it as a service. Additionally, we promote the use of our equipment by the public for last-mile commutes and they can become registered riders to pick up on-demand tasks via our app.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We will have been successful if we managed to tap into existing lines mobility and logistics. Also, we must germinate new market activity through the use of the shuttle lines and equipment via grocery delivery, laundry services, pet supply and Eastern Market logistics. Finally, we must attract and retain commuters to use the program for trips that include cargo. To measure this, we will collect data from our commuters and participating businesses along with local organizations. We will develop surveys to gather relevant information including how they’ve adjusted their car usage and fuel consumption.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

We propose this program at a point when bike lanes have increasing momentum and e-bikes are increasing in popularity as a medium for transportation. We believe this project has the potential to forge a long term relationship with city residents via Michigan Central Station. This program is designed to generate revenue in and of itself and will be a huge marketing tool for Petal to generate exposure and greater prospects for funding once installed and working well at the station & greater city.

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2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Mackenzie Fankell
Team

Alejandro Perez Thank you for sharing this proposal! I am a Michigan Central Station Challenge facilitator. Can you tell me a little bit more about these bikes? You mention charging stations. Are the bikes electric? Do you anticipate the primary use of the bikes to be cargo transportation or passenger transportation? Would there be fixed drivers with passengers or would anyone be able to rent these bikes? Finally, do you anticipate that these bikes would be of use in the winter with icy and snowy conditions? Thank you! I look forward to hearing more!

Photo of Alejandro Perez
Team

Petal’s primary use is cargo mobility. This is why cars are great, we use them to move ourselves, all of our stuff included. We use Promoly steel frames with integrated hardware.

Petal Transport makes tech-integrated cycles designed for cargo. We make e-cargo bikes with integrated tech for low emissions with cargo room and tracking services. We keep track of equipment activity & security with our app. Petal cycles are equipped with pedal-assist. Our equipment is electric, running on lithium ion batteries.

Our fleets are supported by remote, pop-up docking stations comprised of mobile pieces of equipment. These are designed to receive power from our primary power source to recharge the cargo equipment's' batteries at docking stations, for recharge times of less than 60 seconds for 40 miles of travel range. When operating within our station network, our equipment can go for 40 miles with 60-second stops and on again, in perpetuity.

Our QD-4 is a self-standing, cycle-hauling quad with a greater load threshold than the TR-1. Being both self-standing and stronger make the QD-4 adaptable for a variety of work utility applications.

How our fleets work: We install four pop-up, remote docking stations with a fleet of equipment and a cache of removable, rechargeable batteries. This four-station charging system is designed to sustain a continuous flow of quick power for swift equipment reboot and optimum fleet efficiency.

We train a team of Petal riders to perform tasks. We also render our equipment available for riders that are commuting short trips within the shuttle network, using equipment swiftly and returning it at a respective docking station when done. Additionally, Petal equipment is made available for rent at hourly or daily rates.

Snow is an important topic for Petal. While two-wheeled bikes are challenging if not prohibitive in the snow, Petal’s trikes and quads that use grip tires are stable & agile as foxes in snowy conditions. We find that people enjoy the weather, especially when the snow is falling.

At Petal we believe in a preparedness-first approach to riding through the elements, our equipment is our boldest statement toward elemental readiness. Additionally, we prescribe preparedness in our riders when they meet the elements, so that tasks are finished unencumbered while the operator is minimally affected by precipitation or extreme temperatures.