Uber, Lyft to Provide Free & Discounted Trips to Polling Places on Election Day (10-14-18)

Ride-hailing company Uber joined Lyft this month in planning to provide free rides to users who need help getting to polling places for Election Day.

As political campaigns enter the last stretch of the midterm season, Uber and Lyft are serious about getting voters to the ballot box on Nov. 6.

Ride-hailing company Uber announced it’s offering free rides for Uber users who need transportation to their polling places on Election Day.

The company will display a “Get to the Polls” button on the Uber app to help users find their designated polling place and allow users to book a free ride. The company has also partnered with the nonprofit civic engagement group When We All Vote to distribute voter registration information via the Uber app and help drivers and riders register to vote.

“Using our technology and resources, we can help make it easier for every Uber rider in the U.S. to get to their polling place at the push of a button,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a company statement on Oct. 4.

Read Full Story Here (via NBC Washington)

D.C. Prepares To Launch Transportation As A Service (10-5-18)

Washington, D.C.

The city wants to boost for-hire vehicle occupancy rates, while also improving low-income residents’ access to transportation and reducing traffic congestion.

WASHINGTON — Only 40 percent of the taxis and ride-hailing vehicles in the District of Columbia are occupied at any given time, ever since services like Uber and Lyft gained popularity, according to City Hall.

Car subscriptions and Google’s self-driving taxi service—under development in Mountain View, California—are likely to transform the transportation ecosystem even further in coming years. So, district officials say they want to start now to help fill the seats of the vehicles on the road, while also helping provide better transportation options for low-income residents.

Read Full Story Here (via Route Fifty)

Lyft Announces Inaugural Pitch Competition For Its DC-Area Drivers (10-5-18)

This challenge is exclusive to DMV Lyft drivers who have entrepreneurial goals. We spoke with Lyft’s Kate Glantz (a former founder herself) about why the program is launching here.

Are you a Lyft driver with entrepreneurial goals? Do you have a startup that you’re building? The ridesharing company announced a pitch challenge exclusive to its drivers, so read on.

Lyft Pitch was born after the ridesharing company crunched its data and realized that 18 percent of Lyft’s 1.5 million drivers worldwide are giving rides to help power their own businesses.

Lyft Pitch is focused on drawing out some of the most compelling business ideas, and it’s starting in the DMV area.

Read Full Story Here (via Technical.ly)

Can I Ride Here? How To Ride Electric Scooters Safely In DC, Arlington Co., And Montgomery Co. (9-29-18)

Want to zoom around your area one of those electric scooters? Here’s what you need to know.

Arlington County announced Wednesday that they’ll begin a nine-month demonstration program to evaluate dockless bikeshares and scooters in the area.

Dockless electric scooters have been in the news in recent days, after a young man died while riding one in DuPont Circle when he was hit by a car.

Nonetheless, electric scooter programs now exist in D.C., Arlington and Maryland. Want to ride one safely? Here’s what you need to know:

Read Full Story Here (via WUSA9)

Fully Driverless Waymo Taxis Are Due Out This Year, Alarming Critics (10-1-18)

Enlarge / John Krafcik on November 7, 2017—the day Waymo began testing fully driverless cars with no one behind the wheel.

Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project, is planning to launch a driverless taxi service in the Phoenix area in the next three months. It won’t be a pilot project or a publicity stunt, either. Waymo is planning to launch a public, commercial service—without anyone in the driver’s seat.

And to date, Waymo’s technology has gotten remarkably little oversight from government officials in either Phoenix or Washington, DC.

If a company wants to sell a new airplane or medical device, it must undergo an extensive process to prove to federal regulators that it’s safe. Currently, there’s no comparable requirement for self-driving cars. Federal and state laws allow Waymo to introduce fully self-driving cars onto public streets in Arizona without any formal approval process.

Read Full Story Here (via ars Technica)