A Startup Is Putting Ads Inside Ubers and Lyfts (4-1-19)

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.

Read Full Story Here (via DigiDay)

Congestion Pricing In Manhattan, First Such Plan In U.S., Is Close To Approval (3-25-19)

New York moved closer to formalizing a congestion pricing plan for Manhattan, as the leader of the State Assembly indicated on Monday that his members were “ready to go forward.” Dave Sanders for The New York Times

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ALBANY — After years of hesitation, New York is poised to become the first city in the United States to introduce congestion pricing, which would put new electronic tolls in place for drivers entering the busiest stretches of Manhattan.

Though state leaders have not ironed out details, they had reached consensus on Monday that the plan was necessary to help pay for much-needed repairs to the city’s beleaguered subway system.

The proceeds from congestion pricing are expected to enable the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the city’s public transit network, to raise billions of dollars in bonds to modernize the antiquated subway. Such a windfall overwhelmed lingering concerns about various aspects of the plan, including the cost to commuters in the boroughs and suburbs outside Manhattan who rely on cars.

Other American cities are exploring variations of congestion pricing, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. The idea dates back decades, with supporters often pointing to an array of health, safety and environmental benefits, including reducing air pollution and pedestrian injuries, and alleviating the stranglehold on gridlocked city streets.

Read Full Story Here (via NY Times)

Ride-Share Drivers Launch 25-hour Strike (3-25-19)

Some Uber and Lyft drivers, classified as independent contractors, plan to strike Monday. Gene Kang reports for Today in LA on Monday March 25, 2019.

Ride-sharing drivers in Southern California are staging a 25-hour strike Monday over pay cuts implemented by Uber.

“These changes will make rates comparable to where they were in September, while giving drivers more control over how they earn by allowing them to build a model that fits their schedule best,” Uber said in a statement.

Rideshare Drivers United-Los Angeles, which claims to have 2,800 members, is demanding the company rescind its decision to slash wages by 25 percent and guarantee a $28-per-hour minimum rate.

Uber recently cut drivers’ pay from 80 cents per mile to 60 cents in L.A. County and portions of Orange County, a move that reversed a 25 percent bump last September.

The company said the incentive “did not have the intended impact,” according to the the Los Angeles Times.

Read Full Story Here (via NBC Los Angeles)

App Aims To Reduce Traffic Congestion, Increase Ride Sharing (3-11-19)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new app aims to help solve Nashville’s traffic problems, by encouraging people to share rides and reduce the number of cars on the road.

The Hytch Rewards app is free and available for Android and iOS smartphones. It was invented and built in Nashville.

“It makes sense if everyone shares a ride,” said Mark Cleveland, CEO and Co-Founder of Hytch. “That is the fastest way to a congestion-free lifestyle.”

Read Full Story Here (via News Channel 5 Nashville)