Chariot is Suspended in San Francisco, and the Transportation Biz is Still Hard

Chariot is Suspended in San Francisco, and the Transportation Biz is Still Hard

By: Aarian Marshall 10.21.17 Chariot, the Ford-owned van commuter service that crowdsources its routes from passengers, is the subject of some controversy in San Francisco, the city where it was born. For its 3,000 to 4,000 daily riders, Chariot is a valuable, non-personal-car form of mass transit, a cost-effective-ish alternative to the city’s sometimes sluggish and limited public transportation system (a rush hour ride is $5, compared to Muni’s $2.50). For others, the service’s vans are a straight-up nuisance: loudly idling near their homes, belching exhaust, double parking on already crowded streets, and hanging out stops meant for city buses. So it was with a mixture of joy and despair that San Franciscans greeted the news that Chariot had been suspended in California. (It also operates in Seattle, Austin, and New York.) Late Thursday afternoon, as rush hour bore down upon the City by the Bay, the California Public Utilities Commission yanked the service’s operating license. Chariot had failed three routine inspections by the California Highway Patrol, as officials found not all of its drivers had the right licenses to operate the company’s 14-person passenger vans. “We are committed to always providing our riders with safe and reliable service, and we comply with regulatory orders even when we disagree with them,” the company said in an email sent to riders. It’s likely Chariot will be back up and running in a few days, once it passes a re-inspection. According to California Highway Patrol spokesperson Jaime Coffee, the company requested a re-inspection on Thursday and the process began Friday morning. Assuming Chariot has nixed the drivers without proper licenses—or they’ve...
Planning for Shared Mobility: Incorporating Shared Modes into the Public Rights-of-Way

Planning for Shared Mobility: Incorporating Shared Modes into the Public Rights-of-Way

By: Susan Shaheen 11 October 2017 In recent years, a variety of social and economic forces coupled with advancements in technology have quickly given rise to shared mobility. Shared mobility—the shared use of a vehicle, bicycle, or other low-speed travel mode—is an innovative transportation strategy that enables users to have short-term access to a mode of transportation on an as-needed basis. Technological, mobility, and societal trends are having a transformative effect on cities. The growth of cloud computing, location-based services, mobile technologies, big data, and advanced algorithms are enabling the commodification of passenger mobility. The growth of shared mobility has become part of a trend that has pushed it from the fringe to the mainstream. Read the rest of the article...
Uber drivers need armed guards in South Africa

Uber drivers need armed guards in South Africa

by Dara Kerr and Richard Nieva August 1, 2017 5:00 AM PDT On an average day outside Johannesburg’s downtown train station, a handful of men in all-black military gear are positioned down the block. They wear bulletproof vests, combat boots and wool beanies. A patch on their sleeves reads, “Hi-Risk Security Company, Rapid Response Unit.” As we exited the train station during a trip to South Africa last month, one of the men approached us. “Are you looking for an Uber?” Meet the private security force working for the ride-hailing company in Johannesburg. “On this corner, you are perfectly safe,” the guard told us. We had only his word for it because clashes between Uber and local taxi drivers, known as “metered taxis,” are now a common occurrence in Johannesburg and surrounding cities. To put it bluntly, being an Uber driver here is dangerous. In the last year, the violence has included reports of Uber drivers being beaten as they drop off passengers at busy areas with taxi stands, like train stations. One Uber driver, whose car was set on fire after an attack in June, died two weeks ago from severe burns. To read the rest of the story, visit:...
Car-Sharing Companies Hit Speed Bumps as Demand Slows, Ride-Hailing Grows

Car-Sharing Companies Hit Speed Bumps as Demand Slows, Ride-Hailing Grows

By Adrienne Roberts Updated July 14, 2017 2:33 p.m. ET America’s car-sharing industry is struggling as some major operators scale back because of weak demand in certain cities, vandalism and competition from ride-hailing services like Uber. Enterprise Holdings Inc.’s Enterprise Rent-A-Car closed its CarShare membership service in six major cities in recent weeks, following similar moves by other providers. To read the full story, visit:...
Still Waiting for the Transportation Revolution

Still Waiting for the Transportation Revolution

BY BEN MILLER SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 BERKELEY, CALIF. — The future of transportation could very well be unrecognizable compared with today’s system: self-driving pods packed with carpoolers, electric motors, multi-modal journeys, invisible conversations between machines. But that’s the future. And while some of these things are beginning to creep into society, Susan Shaheen isn’t ready to fly the banner of the future just yet. Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, has studied the future of transportation for two decades. Speaking to government and private-sector transportation workers on Sept. 7 at the Bridge SF conference, her message was this: We’re still waiting for the revolution, but there are some very interesting changes in the wind. To read the full article, visit:...