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.

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Americans Who Use Ride-Hailing Services and Cabs Prefer the Former, Even at Airports (10-11-18)

  • 45% of U.S. adults said they were somewhat or very likely to use ride-hailing services, while 32% said the same about taxis.
  • 42% of respondents who have used both services said they’re more likely to use cabs during surge-pricing periods, while 34% still preferred ride-hailing platforms.
  • 51% of taxi users said they are somewhat or much more likely to use ride-hailing platforms because of new safety features.

U.S. adults who have used both ride-hailing platforms and taxi cabs within the past year are more likely to prefer ride-hailing services in almost every polled circumstance, according to a new Morning Consult survey, even as the taxi industry pushes for cities to restrict the number of ride-hailing vehicles operating within their limits.

Morning Consult polling conducted Sept. 27-29, 2018, among a national sample of 2,201 adults, found that 45 percent of adults said they were somewhat or very likely to use ride-hailing platforms, while 32 percent said they were likely to use taxis.

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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)

Electric Cars Still Face A Big Hurdle: The Charging System (10-3-18)

 

Electric cars hit a new global sales record in 2017 — 1 million cars sold, with more than half of that in China — but there may be a hitch to mass adoption: the number of adequate charging stations available. Before consumers take the plunge on a new electric car, they need to know that they can charge it.

The number of electric charging stations in the US is small but growing. As of September 2018, there are an estimated 22,000 public charging stations in the US and Canada that are classified as level 2 and DC fast charging. (Typically, fast-charging stations supply 60 to 80 miles of range for every 20 minutes of charging.) By comparison, there are seven times more gas stations: about 168,000, according to FuelEconomy.gov.

JaguarAudiBMW, and Mercedes-Benzare all launching high-profile electric cars in 2019, and practically every major automaker is staking its future on lineups of fully electric vehicles. The rapid decrease in the price of batteries — more than 70 percent between 2008 and 2014 — and the introduction of more mass-market EVs is certainly encouraging some consumers to consider switching to electric. If these cars are going to be successful, though, drivers have to know they can recharge them.

Read Full Story Here (via The Verge)

How Consumers Are Acclimating to Automation (9-26-18)

A majority think it has improved the shopping experience.

The world is becoming more automated—from self-driving delivery vehicles to subscription commerce—but is tech creating convenience or concern for consumers?

According to an August 2018 Ipsos survey of US consumers, in the past year negative attitudes towards automation have softened a bit, especially among seniors and the employed. Security concerns, worries about isolation and fears that robots will take our jobs all shrunk year over year.

Read Full Story Here (via eMarketer Retail)