It’s been nine months since Dart Labs made its exciting debut with the unveiling of Camana Bikes, a bike-sharing pilot study that concluded successfully in May. The people-led trial produced meaningful results and is the first of many concepts Dart Labs is exploring—such as Better Commute, a new carpooling and active transport pilot launching this month.
“The collaboration we saw during the bike-share test phase is truly remarkable,” says Dart Labs Business Innovation Manager Paul Henry.
“We intended for the Camana Bikes trial to be human-centric and we were delighted to see the team effort and community spirit that characterised this initiative. It helped us learn a great deal about people’s attitudes and motivation around transport.”
Henry says that findings from the pilot programme, which involved more than 120 cyclists from 15 Camana Bay tenants, including Dart staff, allowed Dart Labs to understand usage patterns as well as the needs and desires of several types of commuters. Data was gathered from various sources, including a mileage tracking app, solar-powered digital locks and six focus groups, which resulted in understanding the human experience Dart Labs was seeking.
Collectively, riders covered more than 3,000 miles of Cayman terrain and lost more than 30 pounds, underscoring the health benefits of cycling. It also confirmed that biking has a positive impact on parking, revealing a number of three-car families with two cars parked at Camana Bay all day.
“We also tested some new technology, which is helping us make informed decisions about the best digital offerings available for the programme,” says Henry. “Using the new tech wasn’t always easy during our trial, but that didn’t deter riders. We observed a keen desire among them to continue cycling. Needless to say, Camana Bikes are here to stay.”
Dart Labs is now in the process of handing over the programme to Camana Bay’s property management team, which will manage a fleet of commuter bikes and new classic step-through bikes that are easier to mount and dismount.
On the heels of the Camana Bikes trial is a new alternative transport pilot that aims to reduce traffic congestion and the number of vehicles competing for parking at Camana Bay.
Dart Labs Marketing Analyst Jennifer Steinberg says that the new study, aptly named Better Commute, supports Dart’s commitment to sustainable economic growth and community development.
“During our bike-sharing pilot, we observed many people who work at Camana Bay and live near each other and travel similar routes every day, with one person per car,” says Steinberg. “We want to motivate people to leave their cars at home.”
Over the next four months, Better Commute will be tested exclusively by Dart staff who work at 89 Nexus Way in Camana Bay. Use of a web-based ride-sharing platform will allow people to log in and schedule rides with other users. The new pilot will reward carpoolers with 50 Polyn loyalty points for a one-way commute, giving them the flexibility to add and redeem points as they wish.
The incentive is based on the existing Polyn, the multi-business loyalty rewards programme, and will help the trial gain traction faster, increasing the number of Dart participants whose usage data is needed to develop and refine the programme.
Dart Labs is also rewarding active transport, which means participants will also earn points for cycling or walking to work. Active transport is defined as any form of human-powered transportation such as walking, running or bicycling.
“Better Commute will reward walkers, bicyclists and carpoolers equally,” says Steinberg, explaining that wellness is a key benefit of active, alternative transport. “Active and shared modes of commuting are proven to boost health and community. By carpooling, people can connect with their fellow travellers while reducing their carbon footprint, which supports New Urbanism principles, the foundation of mixed-use communities such as Camana Bay.”
Dart Labs is disrupting the status quo of commuting on Grand Cayman and Steinberg believes that mobility and real estate are inextricably linked.
“Real estate investors who bring diverse transportation options to their developments can expect increased commercial activity and real estate values along with an enhanced sense of wellness and community,” she says.
Next month Dart Labs will celebrate its one-year anniversary with proof that a human-centred approach to business development can have significant impact on desired outcomes. Although its mobility theme will continue, a long list of new concepts that extend beyond transportation are in the pipeline.