A BYU-Idaho couple are changing the way students get around Rexburg.
Jeff and Noelle Wolfe were preparing to return to BYU-Idaho for school in the fall while living at home near Portland. Inspired by the electric scooters widely used there, they determined to bring the business to Rexburg.
The Wolfes purchased a fleet of 30 scooters from the electric scooter-production company, GOAT and now run them in Rexburg through the GOAT phone app. The two of them said repeated small miracles made bringing the business to life possible.
“We just did our research, looked at the assumptions, how it would run, where we would put them and who would insure them,” Jeff said. “One thing led to another and it all worked out.”
The couple described the process of partnering with the city and meeting all regulations to implement the idea as very difficult. They’ve paved the way for other scooter companies to follow them into Rexburg as well.
The scooters are geo-fenced, or virtually confined to certain areas, to ensure they cannot leave those areas.
“If you go onto campus, for example, the throttle will shut off and it will sound an alarm,” Noelle said. Those off-limits areas are marked in red on the GOAT app.”
With snow looming just a few months away, the Wolfes decided to debut the scooters with the start of fall semester instead of waiting for the longer-use timeframe starting next spring. That was an idea Noelle said was quite strategic.
“We just felt like we wanted to get it going sooner rather than later,” Noelle said. “We also felt like if we could come in and people could feel familiar with our scooters and have our app and that sort of thing, then we could have a special relationship with our customers early on.”
Jeff and Noelle regularly gather all 30 of the scooters up to charge them and do any needed maintenance. However, that in itself can be quite the challenge.
Jeff recalled once searching out an entire parking garage to find a scooter in a heavy rainstorm. He eventually found it on the fifth floor.