Last week, we announced our decision to temporarily stop deploying bikes until at least the end of March. While operating our traditional shared bike service is not practical while many cities are on lockdown, we continue to strongly believe that Wheels is in a unique position to help our communities get through the current challenges. Unlike public transportation and car ride-sharing, which require multiple people to be in close proximity to one another, riding Wheels allows people to get to where they need to be while practicing appropriate social distancing.
In order for Wheels to be part of the solution, we are:
- Launching the industry’s first-ever self-cleaning bike handlebars and brake levers to ensure that riders only touch clean surfaces;
- Making specially outfitted Wheels bikes available to delivery couriers to help fill the massive shortfall in delivery capacity; and
- Providing consumers with longer-term rental options so they can use their own Wheels to take care of their essential needs.
Self-Cleaning handlebars and brake levers
Before we temporarily paused our regular service, we were taking all the appropriate actions to keep our bikes clean. Among other things, we were frequently and thoroughly cleaning our bikes with disinfectant and wiping them down with a microfiber towel. But with shared scooters and bikes being ridden by many different people every day and no operator able to manually clean each device prior to every ride, we believed a more comprehensive solution was needed.
To that end, Wheels is excited to announce a partnership with NanoSeptic, the leader in self-cleaning surfaces, on a first-of-its-kind offering in the shared transportation space. Through this partnership, Wheels devices will come with custom-made NanoSeptic surfaces on our handlebars and brake levers so that our riders’ hands only touch self-cleaning surfaces when using Wheels. NanoSeptic surfaces contain mineral nanocrystals that are powered by any visible light to create a powerful and toxin-free oxidation reaction that continuously breaks down any organic contaminants at the microscopic level without the use of poisons, traditional heavy metals or dangerous chemicals.
Having self-cleaning handlebars and brake levers is obviously critical now, and we believe it will remain that way going forward.
Delivery Courier Rentals and Ownership
There has never been a greater need for delivery services since many people are not able to leave their homes and thus need to have their food, groceries, medicines, and other necessary supplies delivered to them. Yet, there is a massive shortfall of delivery couriers.
To help fill this shortfall, Wheels is launching a new offering to make our bikes available to rent on either a weekly or monthly basis or to purchase, by all kinds of businesses, including individuals who deliver for Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, goPuff, Instacart, as well as any restaurants, drug stores, non-profits or other businesses who do their own delivery. Wheels is perfect for anyone who wants to deliver for these popular services but doesn’t have an appropriate method of transportation.
These bikes will come with self-cleaning NanoSeptic handlebars and brake levers and are equipped with two baskets (one in the front and one in the back) so that more packages can be delivered on each ride.
All commercial rentals will be sanitized before and after pickup, and delivery will be contactless.
For those who do not have a car and work at an essential job, need to pick up food or groceries for their families, or have another essential need to be out of the home, transportation that allows for social distancing is critical right now.
In order to meet this need, riders can visit our new online store to rent their own Wheels on a weekly or monthly basis. All bikes will come with self-cleaning NanoSeptic handlebars and brake levers, and in order to make Wheels a good option for picking up essential items, they will come standard with a front basket.
Starting rates for both delivery couriers and consumers will be $29.99 for a weekly rental and $89.99 for a monthly rental, with discounted rates for those eligible to participate in our Wheels-For-All equity program.
All bikes will be sanitized before and after pickup, and delivery will be contactless.
Wheels looks forward to re-launching our traditional shared bike service when our cities return to more normal operations. Both before and after that happens, we want to make a difference by getting safe, sustainable, and *clean* bikes in the hands of those who most need them. We hope these actions will help.