Lyft CEO Juggles Growth Ambitions With Social Ideals

Lyft CEO Juggles Growth Ambitions With Social Ideals

Cory Weinberg, Amir Efrati March 7, 2019 As an environmentally minded college student in California, Logan Green led a campaign to raise campus parking rates to discourage driving. Some 15 years later, as CEO of Lyft, Mr. Green has continued to promote the idea of reducing automobile ownership. “It’s time to redesign our cities around people, not cars,” he and Lyft co-founder John Zimmer wrote in a letter to investors unveiling the company’s IPO plans. Yet as the company prepares to go public, Lyft’s attempt to nurture its image as a force for positive social change hasn’t always been in sync with its impact on the ground. A growing body of evidence suggests ride hailing has added to traffic congestion and reduced public transit use in some places. While Mr. Green still preaches about how Lyft can help tackle environmental problems and make cities more livable, in practice he often has set aside Lyft’s lofty goals in order to grow the company’s core business. To some investors and admirers, that strategy is a reflection of a pragmatism that has emerged over the course of his tenure at Lyft. In the coming weeks, the tension between Mr. Green’s business goals and social aims will be on display as the chief executive presents his vision for Lyft. As the letter to investors suggests, Mr. Green believes his company’s success hinges in part on persuading customers that Lyft hasn’t strayed too far from its origins as a carpool service. Yet Lyft also needs to show prospective investors that the company, which lost $911 million in 2018, can stem the red ink… Read...
The Transformation of Transportation

The Transformation of Transportation

Mile Marker Summer 2018 Study Looks at How We’ll Get From Here to There as Caltrans Plans for Future. New technology, evolving economic and societal directions, and a changing climate are creating a seismic shift in the way California moves people and goods — and that makes transportation planning particularly challenging. A new study commissioned by Caltrans suggests that the field of transportation is in the midst of a transformation not experienced since the invention of the automobile. There are many intriguing possibilities and trends emerging, according to the Future of Mobility White Paper, which is intended to inform Caltrans planners who will lay the groundwork for California’s transportation network into 2050. “The rapid changes in the transportation industry will dramatically alter California’s transportation system and affect the way Caltrans operates,” said Chris Schmidt, Caltrans’ Division Chief of Transportation Planning. “The Department will have to develop and implement realistic policies while taking into account rapidly changing technological advancements, many of which continue to evolve and new ones emerge.” The revolution in moving people and goods has already arrived. In just the last five years, ride-sourcing companies such as Uber and Lyft, car-sharing services like Getaround and car2go, and bike-sharing businesses such as Spin and Ford GoBike have expanded market share. Autonomous vehicles are a reality, drones and self-driving trucks could shake up the goods-moving industry, and technologies considered unthinkable a decade ago — such as hyperloop and air taxis — are no longer just science fiction imagination. Not only are modes of transportation changing, but major advancements have been made in vehicle safety technology. The refinement of on-board cameras,...
1000 Words: Susan Shaheen on Shared Mobility Equity (CALCOG)

1000 Words: Susan Shaheen on Shared Mobility Equity (CALCOG)

April 5, 2018 Edited by CALCOG Shared mobility—the shared use of a motor vehicle, bicycle, or other mode that allows users to obtain short-term access to transportation on an as-needed basis—can have implications on access and mobility for users in terms of transportation equity. A maxim often drawn from the sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King is that “our lives begin to end the day we become silent on things that matter.” As our transportation industry faces disruptions from sharing, automated, and electric vehicles along with other Mobility on Demand (MOD) providers, we must remain vigilant to providing fair access to our evolving transportation systems. Shared mobility has the promise of improving access to our jobs, healthcare, goods and services, and social connections. There is reason to be optimistic about the potential shared mobility services have to bridge equity gaps in a rapid, cost-efficient manner. It can improve mobility for those who are unable to access private vehicles and encourage more shared trips, potentially reducing household expenditures, vehicle miles traveled, and greenhouse gas emissions.   Read the full tex...
10 Commandments for Making Future Cities More Livable

10 Commandments for Making Future Cities More Livable

February 1, 2018 By: JACK STEWART The term “livable city” has been kicking around since the 1980s, but it’s never had much of a definition. It’s clearly a good thing for attracting residents, businesses, and investors. Yet depending on who wants to live how and where, it entails elements of mobility and sustainability, investment and entrepreneurship. Today, 15 tech companies devoted to reshaping the way we move came together to define the euphemism. These ride-sharing, bike-sharing, and transit companies signed a joint pledge to “prioritize people over vehicles”, lower emissions, encourage data sharing, and other lofty goals that should make cities nicer places to live—if everyone can just get on board. The “Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities” is the work of Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase, along with a group of city and transport organizations. They’re heavy on future-gazing talking points. The word mobility comes up a lot. “For most cities, urban planners, legislators and residents, there is a cacophony of advice,” says Chase. She wants the shared principles to cut through it all with simple, sensible guidelines. Read the rest of the article...
“One-way” car sharing grows in the East Bay (KALW)

“One-way” car sharing grows in the East Bay (KALW)

January 30, 2018 By: Eli Wirtschafter Zipcar. Ford GoBikes. Scoot. Shared vehicles are multiplying like rabbits in the Bay Area. Just this month, a company called JUMP rolled its electric bikes onto San Francisco streets. And in Oakland and Berkeley, Gig Car Share, the first “one-way” car share service in the Bay Area, is doubling its fleet of black Priuses from 250 to 500. The service, operated by AAA, has hopes to expand to nearby cities, including San Francisco. KALW’s transportation reporter Eli Wirtschafter talked with Crosscurrents host Hana Baba about the rise of vehicle sharing in the Bay Area.   Listen to the full story...