Spin Access

Project information
Spin, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company

With Gehl’s leadership, Spin allowed us to put everything on the table. It was a beautiful start to rethinking how they approach equity in their work.

Tamika Butler
Former California Planning Director and Director of Equity and Inclusion at Toole Design
The Challenge

Ethnographic design-research

As micro-mobility becomes an integral part of urban transportation networks, it is imperative for companies to prioritize equity in their provision of mobility services. Spin, a shared e-scooter service, enlisted Gehl to redesign ‘Access,’ a program strategy aimed at addressing mobility equity. This transformation sought to secure operational licenses within cities and, in the process, foster more equitable mobility outcomes.

Redefining Spin Access at Gehl Studio in San Francisco.

Interviews, observations, and design research led the team to focus on five improvements to make their service work for everyone: Active Inclusion, Easy Enrollment, Price Transparency, Reliable Availability, and Low-Tech Redundancies.

The Impact

People-centered mobility equity

In late 2019, Gehl initiated an extensive process to analyze strategies that would enhance the accessibility of Spin services. Gehl conducted an “equity audit,” in collaboration with the design team at D-Ford, transit advocates from TransForm, and Toole Design, 

The team employed a variety of methods to explore access and equity within Spin’s service as well as investigating the role of shared e-scooters in addressing mobility challenges in low-income communities. These methods included one-on-one rider interviews, surveys, site observations, operations monitoring, expert interviews, data analysis, prototyping, and community open houses. Informed by insights gathered, the team created numerous opportunities for listening and engagement, uncovering both clear prospects and challenging areas.

The result of this multi-method process was a set of Community-Informed Prototypes that enhance low-income access to Spin, accompanied by an easy to understand Equity Framework and a reimagined enrollment process for new users.

Gehl analyzed real-time scooter availability data against the most high-opportunity areas to connect riders to transit and jobs, allowing the team to understand the most critical gaps in availability.

Two open houses in two well-trafficked public libraries focused on testing and re-testing prototypes to receive feedback from Spin Access-eligible people.

Shadowed the San Francisco operations team as they deployed scooters.

The Spin Access Redesign is the first step in making our service more accessible and will serve as the foundation of our equity work.

Ellen Gottschling
Former Senior Progam Manager, Streets & Equity, SPIN

Our interviews, observations, and design research led the team to focus on five improvements to make Spin's service work for everyone.

More Information

The insights, findings, and developed resources were captured and published via the SPIN ACCESS microsite, which features a step-by-step guide for using people-focused design research in equity initiatives.

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Team Director US Cities
Anna Muessig
Partner, Head of Climate, Team Director US Enterprise & Corporations
Blaine Merker
Our services

Delivering impact through a multidisciplinary approach

Transportation & Mobility

Mobility is a key driver of urban transformation and quality of life. By approaching transportation and mobility challenges from a people-first perspective we help clients prioritize the human experience in everything from city-wide strategies to street corner improvements.


Inclusive engagement that meets people where they are. Listening to the community through research to build trust and better shape the environment to its users and visitors.