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COPING WITH COVID: Gotcha Mobility

Staff //March 24, 2020//

COPING WITH COVID: Gotcha Mobility

Staff //March 24, 2020//

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Coping with COVID

SC Biz News is speaking with small businesses and community leaders about the impact of the new coronavirus on business and industry, and how this is changing how they operate.
Contact Andy Owens,, with any questions or ideas.

FloodAbout 50% of Gotcha Mobility’s bicycles and scooters are sitting unused on university campuses, most of which are closed because of the new coronavirus.

Founder and CEO Sean Flood said that in municipalities, however, bikes and scooters have seen a spike in ridership over the past few weeks.

“Shared micro mobility is actually a better and almost safer way to travel, as opposed to car share, ride share, things like that where there’s other people in the vehicle,” Flood said.

Gotcha has been regularly sending crews out to sanitize and clean the bikes and scooters, Flood said, using chemicals and products recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company intends to continue this for as long as it has access to cleaning supplies.

“You can’t clean it after every ride, just to be able to keep up with it,” Flood said. “But we’re doing it multiple times a day with our teams out in the market.”

Gotcha is also allowing restaurants and retailers to use bicycles and scooters at a discounted daily rate to make deliveries.

Flood said with restaurants closing their dining rooms, many have been forced to lay off employees and outsource food delivery to services such as Uber Eats and DoorDash, but he wants to try to help restaurants find an alternative.

“My hope is that they will keep some of their employees working and let them go deliver their own food,” Flood said. “And then they’re not paying any markups for other companies who are delivering.”

Gotcha rolled out the program on Friday in Baton Rouge, La., and on Monday in all other cities, including Charleston.

“We kind of found ourselves, we’ve got all these vehicles. … We’re always trying to get cars off the road,” Flood said. “And maybe this is a time that we can help, and they’re so much cheaper than paying for a car and gas for delivery.”

Flood said it’ll be interesting to see how people take their experiences in the COVID-19 pandemic with them after the emergency is over. For example, Flood said he took 218 flights last year and he’s now thinking about how many of those could have been virtual meetings.

He said this may also force people to reassess how they travel, moving away from single-occupancy cars.

“It’s not a matter of like a silver lining; it’s a pretty awful situation going on,” Flood said. “But I do think people have kind of readdressed how they interact in the world.”