026 – Jeff Thomashow and Steven Aitkenhead of HOST – Hosting the Last Mile

A new, better way to move with a zero-emission hop-on, short-trip transportation alternative using pedicabs…

HOSTJeff Thomashow and Steven Aitkenhead, Co-founders of HOST Transportation (re-imagining the traditional pedicab for the 21st century by providing urban dwellers a quick, affordable way to move locally through cities), join John Matson and Pavan Bahl in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Good experiences mean adoption, why pedicabs, and being a brand extension

pedicabsThomashow and Aitkenhead discuss pedicabs as a last mile option, how their sweet spot and launchpad is the East Village in NYC, getting over the resistance of pedicabs, how people tend to immediately adopt if they try a service and have a good experience, providing music, phone chargers, and tapping into Millennial mindset in the pedicabs, all customized by personal, human connection. Why pedicabs, partnering with brands to provide a neighborhood level transportation service, how “Instagrammable” are moments, how effective the pedicabs are when wrapped beautifully with brand extension, moving them into the digital sphere, and — hand stuffed donuts for a snack.

Bumble, branded cabs, creating a level of joy and engagement

pedicabsWorking with brands, how most native New Yorkers have little-to-no perception of pedicabs in NYC, putting an institution and a brand and trust behind this industry, making pedicabs something to trust and to enjoy the experience, and rebranding, the company name Hop On Short Trips (HOST), looking for brands who are forward thinking, trying new things, and are generationally focused. A partnership with Bumble, closing the gap between the digital and physical, the importance of Millennials, and being able to trust brands. How branded pedicabs have stood out, whether experiential marketing agencies are a fit vs. going direct to brands, and believing in partnerships. How the business started in April, now having 6 pedicabs operating under brand, being in the test phase, creating a level of joy, and aligning with brands who want to become a part of the fabric of New York and a part of the weekend.

The future of mobility, a surplus of pedicabs, and a look at per-minute charges

The testing phase proved initial theories, tapping into the acting community for great experience as well as fitness trainers, and looking at potential partnerships with companies like Chariot. We have to wait for a lot of innovation because of traffic. The future of mobility is how far you are going. The opportunity for a shuttle between offices, an assumption of the app, issues with regulations in New York, and regulations provide for the per-minute charge. And, a surplus of pedicabs, bring stranded without a ride and being save by a UPS truck, the impact of transportation on when growing up, and how some things just have to be done. Plus, moving around the city doesn’t have to suck.

1 Comment

  1. Tara December 11, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I can totally relate to not wanting to walk around the city in heels! I didn’t know that much about the pedicab industry until this year and the little information I did know was not very positive (as you mentioned), but I had the opportunity to check out HOST in the East Village earlier this fall and they completely changed my perspective on the industry and transportation in general. The experience was not anything like what I expected, and I actually had a lot of fun! It was great to be able to hear more of HOST’s story here!


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