- Swedish startup Cangoroo has announced plans to deploy shared pogo sticks as a micromobility option in the Swedish cities of Malmö and Stockholm this month, with plans to expand to San Francisco and London as part of "aggressive growth goals."
- The pogo stick network would function like an e-scooter fleet, allowing subscribers to rent a nearby vehicle for $1, ride it for 30 cents per minute, and then park it anywhere in a city.
- "It’s close to impossible to not crack a smile when jumping, you’ll burn heaps of calories and it’s by far the most environmentally friendly alternative in the category with an expected lifespan per pogo stick of 16-24 months," said founder Eric Calderon in a statement. He touts the mobility option as sustainable, convenient and fun.
The idea of commuters traversing sidewalks on pogo sticks has understandably been met with skepticism, but Cangoroo is firm that it’s no joke. In a statement, the company said the choice of pogo sticks was "a planned-out strategy in order to stand out in today’s media landscape and build an engaging brand in the generic 'last mile transportation' category." The company also says it is working on prototypes for other scooter alternatives.
It’s worth remembering that scooters were seen as less-than-serious options when they first launched in major cities, and it wasn’t long until they were widely used. A July 2018 survey by data firm Populous found that 70% of city-dwellers had positive impressions of the scooters less than a year after they first started appearing on streets, and that the average adoption rate was even higher than for services like Zipcar.
However, electric scooters have also been successful due to their ability to effortlessly zip riders across a city at quick speeds. The efficacy of pogo sticks is in question as it could be difficult for a rider to learn how to use the vehicle, let alone commute to work or get across town without tiring.
As Cangaroo works to sell cities and citizens on the idea of pogo travel, it is careful to work with cities on proper adoption of the vehicles. In an interview with CBS San Francisco, Cangoroo said it would work with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and other officials on regulations and safety information before releasing their vehicles, in order to avoid the friction that occurred in many cities with the launch of dockless scooters.