The scooters are free to unlock and cost $0.15 a minute to ride
The District’s micromobility options are expanding today with the introduction of electric scooters from Jump, the Uber-owned operator that already offers electric bikes in the city. Jump will roll out more than 500 dockless scooters across D.C. over the next several days.
In a statement, Loic Amado, Uber’s East Coast General Manager of Scooters, says the firm wants to provide “a wide variety of transportation options, from scooters to rideshare and beyond, requested right from the Uber app.” Free helmets via D.C.-based nonprofit Gearin’ Up Bicycles are available until May 7, according to a release. The scooters are free to unlock (people can reserve them in advance through the Uber app) and cost $0.15 a minute to ride.
It was nearing 5 p.m. on a Wednesday, and as usual, Shawna Walker was doing three things at once.
After a long day of conference calls from her Springfield, Va., home, the federal employee was rushing to finish an assignment for her job in human resources. She stirred a pot of spaghetti on the stove, and made sure her 14-year-old son, Jalen, was working on his homework at the kitchen table. Jalen’s football practice would start in a half-hour, about a 20-minute drive from their home, but both Walker and her husband were still tied up with work.
Then, a woman knocked on the front door, wearing an orange T-shirt with the word “CareDriver” on the back.
“You can call me Miss B,” the woman, Jacqueline Bouknight, said while shaking Walker’s hand and introducing herself to Jalen.
In 2013, the District became one of the first jurisdictions in the U.S. to pass a lawgoverning the operations of self-driving cars—also known as autonomous vehicles—on public rights of way. Now, with the vehicles growing in popularity nationally and Ford testing them on D.C. roads, several local legislators want to make those regulations stricter through two new bills.
On Tuesday, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, who chairs the Council’s committee on transportation and the environment, pitched the “Autonomous Vehicles Testing Program Amendment Act of 2019,” along with Ward 6Councilmember Charles Allen and Chairman Phil Mendelson. The bill would set up a permitting process for autonomous vehicle testing within the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), which would have to review and approve such permit applications. Companies that seek to test self-driving cars in the city would have to provide an array of information to officials, including on each vehicle it plans to test, safety operators in the test vehicles, testing locations, insurance, and safety strategies.
A Washington, D.C.,-based startup is selling ad inventory inside ride-share cars.
Octopus places screens inside vehicles for Uber and Lyft to let riders decide if they want to play a game to win cash, which also means watching a 15- or 30-second ad. The startup, which launched in 2018, isn’t the first of its kind, but it’s been able to impress some brands like Red Bull and agencies like Omnicom.
“We jumped on it right away. We do a lot of Taxi TV, and with the growth of Uber and Lyft in the market and the fact it’s reaching a younger millennial audience with disposable income and with the engagement option, it made sense for us,” said Hailey Barton, digital media director at Omnicom’s Serino Coyne.
Lyft launched the program last year in partnership with Martha’s Table, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit that provides healthy food, affordable clothing and quality education to D.C. residents, Technical.ly DC previously reported. The ridesharing service is now partnering with the Greater Washington Region American Heart Association (AHA) and DC Greens, a D.C.-based organization working to advance food justice in the nation’s capital, to add 50 senior residents to the program.
Selected seniors will receive 25 shared rides priced at $1.50 to participating grocery stores in Wards 7 and 8 from now through the conclusion of the pilot on June 30.