It's crazy that even though Detroit is so big, I still feel a sense of community through my daily interactions with people. Last week, a 14-year old passed by Vinit and I playing basketball at the Quicken Loans outdoor basketball courts and said, "Hey what’s up man, are you playing one-on-one?” I immediately recognized the kid since I had talked to him the day before about MoGo. This summer I am creating an evaluation plan for MoGo, and one way Pauline and I are doing this is by creating and conductiving surveys on the streets to gather people’s perception of MoGo. Through these surveys, Pauline and I are creating an evaluation plan for MoGo so that we can help them assess their bike share program.
The mission of MoGo is to create more affordable options for Detroiters to get around the city by offering on-demand bicycles at self-serving stations. By creating an evaluation plan, we will be able to determine whether MoGo is successfully accomplishing this mission. For example, one of the aspects we are evaluating is the access pass. Usually an annual pass is $80, but if you receive state benefits, the access pass allows you to ride MoGo for a year for just $5. The problem is that many people who receive state benefits don't know about this option, so by doing surveys and creating an evaluation plan we can determine how successful our access pass outreach has been.
Even though writing the evaluation plan requires many hours at the office, my favorite part of my job is going outside our fancy office and going into the city and interacting with Detroiters. Rory and Adriel, who works with MoGo, have been very kind to bring us along to the outreach events that they do for MoGo, many of which are sponsored by Southwest Solutions, which provides assistance for the poor and disenfranchised.
For one of these events, Rory, Pauline, and I went to the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center for another MoGo outreach event. During the event, Rory gave a presentation about MoGo. During this event Pauline and I helped to give out MoGo handout cards and MoGo sunglasses. It was amazing to see how grateful the attendees were when they received their MoGo sunglasses. The attendees said things like, “Aw thanks, I could really use some sunglasses! I’m definitely using MoGo now!”
Another interaction I had was with a very nice woman who wanted to try out MoGo. Last week, Pauline and I were at Circus Park handing out surveys for our program evaluation. In order to incentivize people to fill out the surveys, we gave out free discount daily MoGo passes that allow people to ride a MoGo bike for 24 hours. The lady who I was helping was very interested in MoGo, and I showed her how MoGo worked. After finally putting in the right discount code and getting a bike out, the lady was so unbelievably happy. Uplifting experiences like these make me feel that I am making an impact on the Detroit community.
In summary, what I am doing is creating more accessibility options for a wide range of people in Detroit. There are so many cool things to do in Detroit, so being able to have more options to reach places will bring happiness to many people in Detroit. Just allowing people to reach places more easily is a huge convenience and has a great impact on these people’s lives.