Movemint across Texas: Bike cabs in the Bayou City

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Houston, Texas is an amazing, unique city.  (Author’s note: It’s my hometown, so I may be biased.)

It’s hard to keep track of its many festivals.  The largest, of course, is the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.  It boasts the second-largest convention center in Texas, and is one of the largest in the United States: the George R. Brown.  Four professional sports teams call it home: the Astros, the Dynamo, the Rockets, and the Texans.  The stadiums for the Astros, Dynamo, and the Rockets as well as the George R. Brown Convention Center are literally all beside each other downtown.  NRG Park, a sprawling compound featuring its own convention center, the Texans’ stadium, the former Astrodome and other buildings is southwest of downtown.

All of the sports teams’ seasons listed below overlap.

Here are some numbers

  • The Texans play for 570,000 or more fans per season.  There are 8 home games.  They plat at NRG Stadium, which is literally at or over capacity and has been since we returned in 2011.
  • The Rockets play for at least 740,000 fans per season.  There are 41 home games.  They average nearly or slightly over 100% attendance per game.  They play at the Toyota Center, which also hosts concerts and other events throughout the year.
  • The Dynamo play for about 340,000 fans per season.  There are 17 home games.  They play at the BBVA Compass Stadium, which is only 5-years-old.
  • The Astros play 81 home games.  They’ve had a rough patch for several years as they rebuilt their team.  For example, in 2013, they were averaging a meager 20,000 fans per game, or only 1.6 million for their entire home effort.  However, Sports Illustrated predicted the following year, in 2014, that the Houston Astros would win the 2017 World Series.  As of this writing, they’ve played 129 games so far this season.  They’ve buffed their average to a decent 31,000 per game, for a total of 2 million fans.  There are 33 season games remaining.  They play at Minute Maid Park, affectionately referred to as “The Juice Box.”
  • The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and its preceding Bar-B-Que Cookoff, is the city’s signature event.  It begins in late February.  2.6 million people turn out.  It’s. . . something to behold.  This is held at NRG Park, which also features its own convention center and holds massive events all year long.

Houston is also considered one of the most diverse cities in all of the United States, if not the most.  Its arts and food – and general culture, really – are a reflection of that fact.


Movemint Bike Cab’s experience:


Movemint Bike Cab informally got its start in Houston, Texas a decade ago.  The co-founder and co-owner David Knipp began his career out in Houston, as well as working the Greater Houston area.  When he settled in San Marcos, Texas, and directed his focus on the lucrative Austin market, Houston slipped back in his rearview mirror.  It wasn’t until an October 2011 advertising campaign for Capital One that he, and we, returned.

It was the Bayou City Arts Festival, which was quite a bit of fun.  After getting licensed, we returned for other  events, like Houston Texans professional football games, the Houston Marathon, the Bar-B-Que Cookoff and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.  After renewing our operating authority in April 2012, we returned for more.  Some Movemint riders began their own “mercenary” operations there as well, familiarizing the local market with the assistance of other companies.  We closed out our last full year there, 2013, by including the Houston Astros opening week as well.

Then our presence went dark.  Apart from appearances at scattered Houston events, most of the traveling pedicabbers joined the national festival circuit, and David and Ken busied themselves with the rapid expansion of Movemint’s market share in Austin, including pedicab and prop manufacturing, and reinforcing Movemint’s presence in Arlington, Texas.

When the National Football League announced that the 2017 Super Bowl was going to be held in Houston, Texas, we knew the exact month of our return: the preceding January.  We reestablished our dormant operating authority, and fielded the only Austin fleet that was fully insured and licensed.  We fostered a new generation of traveling pedicabbers, who returned to work the Bar-B-Que Cookoff and Livestock Show & Rodeo, and who are champing at the bit to return for a prospective 2017 Houston Astros postseason and definite 2017 Houston Texans football season.