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:...
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:...
Car sharing on campuses improves quality of life, takes cars off the road

Car sharing on campuses improves quality of life, takes cars off the road

By Andy Murdock, UC Newsroom Friday, September 2, 2016 You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why UC Berkeley has designated parking areas for Nobel Laureates: if there’s one thing harder to snag than a Nobel prize, it’s a parking space on a UC campus. This is not just a UC issue: The experience of parking on college campuses across the country can often involve circling and circling in hopes of finding someone leaving, expensive permits or parking meters, or long walks from distant overflow lots. “Traffic and the lack of parking are growing problems on college and university campuses as student car owners continue to outnumber available parking,” said Susan Shaheen, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC). To read the full article, visit:...