Letter from Assaf Biderman, CEO & Founder of Superpedestrian
This letter was published in our 2020–21 annual report, “Built Better, For Cities.” Download the report at our website, superpedestrian.com.
I remember the first time my wife and I rode one of Superpedestrian’s prototype scooters in 2018, for a short ride around the MIT campus. It was an exhilarating experience, combining the on-demand independence of bicycling with the ease and civic engagement of a great public transit journey.
Since the spring of 2020, when we launched our first LINK fleets, more than a million people in 50 cities have enjoyed a safe, reliable shared e-scooter journey. Many of these people used our LINK scooters to travel to their jobs as frontline healthcare workers. Others used LINK to get to their COVID vaccination appointments, check in on friends, or just enjoy some fun and fresh air.
In our first year of operation, we helped cities move through COVID, and now we are helping them recover. Recovery is not just from the impacts of COVID — we’re also helping cities overcome decades of overdependence on automobiles. Instead of encouraging people to linger and interact, our city streets are currently built to move cars — inefficient self-contained pods that isolate people from one another. This stifles the city’s natural superpower as an engine of human connection and creativity. When people are free to move, free to make connections, and free to pursue their potential, the City is at its best.
This is our dream: Cities where everyone can move freely between their chosen destinations. Cities that absorb more carbon than they emit. Cities where density is desirable because the space between buildings is no longer merely glorified car storage. Cities with high-quality, affordable transportation offering people easy, flexible access to their local parks, schools or jobs. This is the world I want for my daughter, and for the 6.7 billion people who will inhabit cities by 2050.
Small electric vehicles are key to realizing this dream, but only if we, the operators, get it right. This means honoring our contracts with cities, and our unwritten — but just as binding — social contracts with every other street user, especially pedestrians.
Over the past year, in partnership with the cities we serve, we strove to get it right. The evidence, presented in this report, indicates that we are succeeding in showing what micromobility can do when it is powered by high-quality engineering, a dedicated labor force, and a genuine spirit of cities-first collaboration.
Now, with COVID in retreat, many more people are taking their first scooter trips on streets bustling with more pedestrians than ever. What kind of experience will they have? Will they have a transformative, safe experience that leads them to do it again and again? Will other people on the street see that trip positively? If the answers are yes, then we’re well on our way to fulfilling the promise of micromobility and the promise of cities as places where everyone can reach their full potential. I hope you’ll hop on a LINK and join me on that journey.
CEO & Founder