Uber’s Electric Jump Scooters Come To D.C. (4-9-19)

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.

Read Full Story Here (via Curbed)

Study: Cities With Ride-Shares Like Uber And Lyft Also See Rise In Fatal Accidents

The study arrives as New York lawmakers think about how to implement the country’s first congestion pricing to enter Manhattan’s busiest parts starting in 2021.

There’s been an approximate 3% rise in serious and deadly accidents in major American cities once ride-hail platforms are introduced, according to new findings from researchers at Rice University in Houston, Texas and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The services definitely bring serious pluses, the study acknowledges, like increased convenience for commuters needing to get from A to B — not to mention whole new avenues of income for people with a driver’s license.

But the findings say there’s a flip side that should be weighed too: “Costs exist, are not trivial, and can be measured in human lives — specifically, in increased rates of major traffic accidents and traffic fatalities.”

These fatalities can also be measured in dollars, researchers say. Applying the U.S. Department of Transportation’s statistical value of a life, the potential drag on economy from lives lost is about $10 billion, according to the study.

Read Full Story Here (via Market Watch)

Uber, But For Football Practice: A Kid-Only Ride Hailing Service Is Coming To D.C. (4-6-19)

Jalen Walker, 14, heads to football practice followed by driver Jacqueline Bouknight from the company HopSkipDrive, a ride-hailing service that specializes in transporting minors. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

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.

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)

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)