Share Now Is the Latest Car-Share Service to Fold

Share Now Is the Latest Car-Share Service to Fold

Aarian Marshall December 19, 2019 The US is about to lose another car-share service. On Wednesday, the Daimler- and BMW-owned entity that operates the service Share Now said the company’s cars would disappear from North American streets by the end of February 2020. For customers in New York, Montreal, Seattle, Washington, DC, and Vancouver, that’s a bummer. It’s a bummer as well for those who enjoyed short-term rentals in London, Brussels, and Florence, Italy—service will stop there too. The story of Share Now, formerly known as Car2Go, is emblematic of the twisty path that transportation services took in the 2010s. Founded by Daimler in 2008, Car2Go arrived at a moment of smartphone-fueled optimism about “mobility” tech. A company called UberCab would sprout in San Francisco a year later. Amid talk of falling car ownership and rapid urbanization, automakers were on the lookout for the next big thing. Car2Go was an experiment in what car-sharing professionals call “point-to-point” sharing. The company struck deals with cities to allow customers to locate, pick up, and park Daimler-owned cars—extra-compact white and blue Smart Cars—almost anywhere on city streets. (Some competitors, like Zipcar, have dedicated parking spots for their users.) In February, a decade into a new world of tech-driven experiments, Daimler and BMW announced they would combine their mobility services under one entity, called Share Now. By October, it was clear that the business was in trouble, when the company said it would pull out of half its North American markets. Now, Share Now will operate in fewer than 20 cities worldwide, with its largest operations in Germany and Italy. In a statement,...
Autonomous Vehicles – Part 2: Designing the Future of Transportation w/Susan Shaheen

Autonomous Vehicles – Part 2: Designing the Future of Transportation w/Susan Shaheen

The Leading Edge Podcast December 19, 2019 Podcast host Chris Sands speaks with Innovative Mobility’s Susan Shaheen on the societal and environmental impacts of automated transportation systems. They cover transportation technology’s affect on social equity, city land uses to make way for AV and microbility, energy sources and sustainability, and some of the emerging products from different autonomous vehicle companies. Listen to the episode...
How St. Louis Took a Proactive Approach to E-Scooter Regulation

How St. Louis Took a Proactive Approach to E-Scooter Regulation

Cinnamon Janzer November 14, 2019 As practically anyone living in an urban area has experienced first hand, e-scooter companies have tended to take an “ask for forgiveness, not permission” approach to deploying fleets of e-scooters in cities across the world with little to no notice beforehand. While this disruption-based method has left many cities scrambling to reactivity figure out how to manage the chance, St. Louis was able to take a proactive approach, thanks to a failed public bikeshare program. When the bikeshare program didn’t pan out after a grant failed to come through, the city’s bikeshare working group did produce a permitting system that was ready to be applied when e-scooters descended on St. Louis in early 2018. With equity top of mind, “the permit identifies a number of neighborhoods where we require there to be a percentage of dockless bikes or e-scooters every day,” explains Scott Ogilvie, the transportation policy planner in the Planning and Urban Design Agency for the City of St. Louis. The city requires 2.5 percent of the minimum fleet of each area and a minimum of 20 percent of the total fleet to be in neighborhoods outside the central corridor at the start of each day. “We don’t want to offer a new amenity in the city that’s not available to a large portion of the city. That’s part of the permit we’re proud of,” Ogilvie says. The flexibility that comes from…   Read the full article...
Car Sharing Service Turo Relies on Data to Get Ahead in Crowded Rental Market

Car Sharing Service Turo Relies on Data to Get Ahead in Crowded Rental Market

Mark Hamstra October 22, 2019 When it comes to marketing, Turo tries to make every dollar count. The company — sometimes referred to as the “Airbnb of car rentals” — was founded in 2009 with operations in San Francisco and Boston, and has since expanded to more than 5,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Germany, and the U.K. It competes not only against established car rental giants such as National, Enterprise, Dollar, Avis, and Hertz, but also against similar peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing platforms such as Getaround. Turo offers car owners, whom it calls “hosts,” a way to earn money sharing their vehicles with renters, or “guests,” who benefit from Turo’s broad selection of vehicles and potential savings compared with traditional car rental agencies. An extensive report on the P2P car sharing industry published last year by the University of California, Berkeley, estimated that in 2017, about 2.9 million people in North America were participating in P2P car sharing across six different platforms with a combined fleet of 131,336 shared vehicles… Read the full article...
Can the Sharing Economy be Leveraged in Disaster Relief? Lessons from California

Can the Sharing Economy be Leveraged in Disaster Relief? Lessons from California

Susan Shaheen, PhD, Stephen Wong, and Adam Cohen September 12, 2019 Natural and man-made disasters and their emergency evacuations are more common than many people realize, and remain a common strategy to ensure safety. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the most frequent causes of evacuations in the U.S. each year are fires and floods. Due to the heavy reliance on private vehicles in the U.S., evacuations using personally owned automobiles have historically been the focus of many emergency managers. However, this can be problematic for public transit dependent and carless households who may have transportation challenges in an emergency. The critical role of evacuation planning for carless households became a serious issue during Hurricane Katrina when evacuation plans did not adequately include a process for evacuating the estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people without reliable personal transportation. However, New Orleans is not alone. Research has found that one-third of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. do not have evacuation plans, and less than half of cities with evacuation plans mention carless or vulnerable populations. Lessons learned from past experiences in emergency management include… Read the full article...