Jump on it: App-based pogo-stick rentals planned for San Francisco
The sharing economy has brought scooters and bikes to our sidewalks and streets. Now, an international company wants to add pogo sticks to those ranks.
Cangoroo, a start-up based in Malmo, Sweden, plans to roll out shared, app-based pogo sticks in several cities, including San Francisco, starting this summer.
The company expects its pogo sticks to be publicly available in Malmo and Stockholm by the end of June, with launches in San Francisco and London to follow by mid-August.
“We do know that pogo sticks aren’t for everyone. But our mission and the fact that we’re going to launch them are 100 percent real,” said Adam Mikkelsen, the chief executive and co-founder of Cangoroo.
Mikkelsen said the company hopes to expand strategically to cities known for innovation — including the Los Angeles area, likely in Venice — as well as Berlin, Copenhagen and Paris. Still, the timelines depend on approval and coordination with city officials, he said.
“We’ve talked to [consultants] who worked with East Coast companies, and it was a gray zone when scooters started off,” Mikkelsen said. “And now here come the Swedish guys with a pogo stick when we just figured out what an e-scooter is.”
A representative of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said it didn’t have any specific information about the Swedish company, but will review any new transportation service to ensure its compliance with existing laws.
Cangoroo describes its shared pogo stick system as an effort to support car-free, sustainable and health options for urban commuting. On its website, the company says it will cost $1 to unlock a pogo stick and users will pay per-minute, with prices determined by location.
The company doesn’t plan to stick with pogo sticks alone and says it wants to add other micromobility vehicles to its fleet.
“It’s not that we’re super-delusional and think that no one is going to use any other transportation method other than pogo sticks,” Mikkelsen said. “It’s more about getting the movement to build something that goes beyond the product and builds a statement brand.”
That statement would be reflected in social justice campaigns. For example, Mikkelsen said, if the company were launched in Alabama today, all proceeds from paid jumps for a month would support abortion access.
“We’re excited to see if we can use public space and micromobility solutions to not only help people commute, but to also make a statement about inequality, racism and so on … something better than electric scooters that will be trashed after like 90 days,” Mikkelsen said.
In a release, the company — which conducted a beta test of the system in April — describes plans to develop partnerships with colleges and universities in North America.
“I promised my family in California that I wouldn’t visit as long as [Donald] Trump is president, so I have to do everything from here. But I might break that promise,” Mikkelsen said about bringing Cangoroo to the Golden State. “So we’ll see about that.”
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