Last year, Getaround teamed up with Uber to let car owners in San Francisco rent out their cars to those who wanted to drive Uber but didn’t have cars of their own. In April, Uber then launched Uber Rent for personal use, which integrated the interface found in Getaround’s mobile app into its own app.
And while Uber Rent didn’t last long, Uber and Getaround are continuing their partnership for Uber drivers. Today it officially expanded to Los Angeles and San Diego, and it will be available in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. in the coming months.
I exchanged emails with Getaround co-founder and CEO Sam Zaid to learn more.
Ride-sharing services have revolutionized the way D.C. residents and visitors get to dinner, concerts and other events, and new awards from Lyft shed light on which properties are benefiting most. Lyft Wednesday announced its fourth annual Lyftie awards, given to the most-visited destinations in the city, and 14th Street and U Street were big winners.
A dozen transportation start-ups are vying for permits to operate shared scooters and bicycles in the nation’s capital next year. If all are approved, the number of companies operating personal mobility services in the District would double, and the devices available for rent could reach 10,000 by spring.
The District Department of Transportation is reviewing applications from 12 companies, including six already operating in the city under an extended pilot program ending this year. Those companies want to be part of an expanded, permanent program that will allow them to enlarge their fleets — though they will be subject to additional fees and regulations.
“We are pleased by the growing interest from companies seeking to expand or launch operations in the District and excited about the potential of these new transportation options for residents and visitors,” said DDOT spokesman Terry Owens.
From the Mall to Lincoln, Neb., planners across the United States are pushing slow-rolling roboshuttles as a way to dip their toes into greater automation.
The stubby, bread-box-looking vehicles go about 10 mph, and boosters say they’re a relatively easy and potentially transformative tool for moving people, even as autonomous cars, trucks and minivans continue their development and rollout. Others counsel caution, raising concerns about safety, oversight and economic viability, and fears about adding congestion to roadways and eliminating jobs.
Uber is launching wheelchair-accessible service in the District and five other cities, the company announced this week, pledging a 15-minute wait time for customers with disabilities for fares equivalent to UberX.
The ride-hail giant has entered into a contract with MV Transportation, which calls itself the country’s leading paratransit firm, to provide the service for customers with disabilities. MV will supply drivers and vehicles, while trips will be arranged through the Uber app.
Uber has long been criticized for its lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Equal Rights Center in 2017 called out the company for its failure to provide access for passengers in wheelchairs and motorized scooters.
The apphas offered an option called Taxi WAV since 2015, allowing customers to hail a ride in a wheelchair-accessible cab — though advocates said it fell short of providing service equivalent to the door-to-door UberX. In a blog post announcing the deal with MV, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company needed to better accommodate customers who use personal mobility devices.