‘I’m Back to Riding My Own Bike.’ Higher Prices Threaten Silicon Valley’s Mobility Revolution

‘I’m Back to Riding My Own Bike.’ Higher Prices Threaten Silicon Valley’s Mobility Revolution

Alana Semuels August 9, 2019   When JUMP’s bright red bikes started appearing on the streets of San Francisco last year, Ian Chesal was relieved. His lengthy commute, from the hills of Oakland to his tech company’s San Francisco office, involved driving to the subway, sitting for 40 minutes, and then walking a mile to his office. Once the JUMP bikes appeared, he could use his phone to unlock one outside his subway stop, and ride it the rest of the way. The electric motor-assisted bikes gave him a push up the hill to his office, and at $2 for a 30-minute ride, they didn’t add significantly to the cost of his commute. But in June, JUMP, which is owned by Uber, suddenly raised its prices, instantly doubling the cost of Chesal’s ride. He stopped using the shared bikes, dusted off an old bike from his garage, and started bringing it on the subway and riding it that last mile to work. “For now I’m back to riding my own bike and happier for it,” says Chesal, 42. UMP’s price increases were part of a larger trend across the sharing economy. On-demand services of all kinds have been significantly subsidized by…   Read the full article here: ‘I’m Back to Riding My Own Bike.’ Higher Prices Threaten Silicon Valley’s Mobility...
Generation Z May Not Want To Own Cars. Can Automakers Woo Them In Other Ways?

Generation Z May Not Want To Own Cars. Can Automakers Woo Them In Other Ways?

December 8, 2017 By: NATALIE BETTENDORF Sheryl Connelly has a crazy job. She’s in charge of looking into the future for Ford Motor Co. The automaker is trying to predict how people my age — from Generation Z — will use cars. “I have two Gen Zers at home,” Connelly says. “So my 16-year-old daughter is thrilled, actually. Her car is ready to go. As soon as she has her license, it’s in the driveway. And so she sits in her car and she listens to the radio and she loves her car.” That’s definitely not me. I’m 18 and I don’t want a car. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area. I take buses and trains. I bike, and when I need a car, I use Lyft. Connelly says Gen Z is a game changer. “They don’t really care about ownership,” she says. “They don’t necessarily see that their vehicle is going to be a status symbol. In fact, they’re really savvy customers and can be quite frugal.” Read the rest of the article...
Bike-share debacle isn’t unique to Baltimore. Thefts, other woes had also hit the early programs in N.Y., Paris

Bike-share debacle isn’t unique to Baltimore. Thefts, other woes had also hit the early programs in N.Y., Paris

By Luz Lazo October 4 Last fall, then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake touted Baltimore’s new bike-rental system as a sign of the city’s progress. “Our bike-share program will provide citizens with convenient and on-demand access to bikes for short-distance trips throughout the city,” she had said. “This is going to be great.” By summer, most of the 25 bike stations scattered around the city’s downtown and tourist areas were empty. Many of the 230 bikes were unaccounted for. Others had been found badly battered. About 100 bikes were in the shop on a given day in August, so many that keeping up with repairs was impossible. So the city chose to shut down the program, work on a solution, and possibly start over. To read the rest of the article, visit: ...
Uber, Bike-Share and More Are Factors in Tomorrow’s Transit Agency

Uber, Bike-Share and More Are Factors in Tomorrow’s Transit Agency

BY JOSH COHEN SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 In St. Petersburg, Florida — a city of about 257,000 residents sitting on the Gulf Coast next to Tampa — people have just a few options for getting around town. They can, of course, drive personal cars, walk or bike; catch a bus operated by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA); or hire taxis and Ubers. From February to August this year, the last mode choice on that list was likely the cheapest, most efficient option for accessing the bus. In an effort to encourage transit ridership and alleviate the impact of service cuts brought on by budget woes, PSTA was subsidizing 50 percent of the cost of taking rides with Uber, United Taxi (the local cab company) or Care Ride (a paratransit service) if those rides were connecting to the bus. That sort of partnership between public transit agency and ride-hailing company isn’t yet common, but examples are popping up around the country as cash-strapped municipalities look for ways to supplement their bus and rail routes and better serve low-density areas with so-so transit ridership. Those in favor of the arrangement say taking advantage of new technologies and service providers is a win-win for forward-looking transit agencies. Skeptics caution that the things that make companies such as Uber and Lyft profitable are incompatible with transit agencies’ obligation to provide quality, convenient, equitable service. To read the full article, visit:...
City of the future is closer, calmer than you think

City of the future is closer, calmer than you think

Marco della Cava, 12:28 p.m. EST November 13, 2015 SAN FRANCISCO – The city of the future has had countless fantasy blueprints, from The Jetsons’ pleasant hive of automated efficiency to Blade Runner’s dystopian tangle of urban chaos. But the reality is the city of future is closer than you think, as tech companies and automakers floor the pedal on projects ranging from cars that drive themselves to apps that aggregate transportation options. Conversations with mobility experts here and abroad paint a picture of an urban revolution that is already underway in a patchwork of cities from Seattle to Stockholm. “The main thing with automated and connected tech is to make sure it’s reliable first,” says Chris Hendrickson, director of the Traffic21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. “But the opportunities for change are impressive.” To read the rest of the story,...