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GM's Maven Is Leaving New York And Other Major Cities

Maven — the car-sharing and car rental service — is exiting from eight major cities including Boston, Chicago, and New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company is expected to wind down service in the designated cities by the end of July to focus on less competitive markets. Maven wants to “concentrate on markets in which we have the strongest current demand and growth potential,” one company spokeswoman told WSJ. Maven’s operations in Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Toronto will continue; however, its transition out of some of the biggest cities in the U.S. highlights some of the accelerated changes happening in transportation-tech. Last month, New York City council passed a bill to decongest the city’s streets of ride-hailing cars by posing a cap on the number of drivers companies could have on the road. The law also required Uber and Lyft to improve pay for its drivers. Both companies, whose drivers sometimes rent cars from Maven, stopped hiring new...

Arriana McLymore

May 21, 2019

Uber Introduces 'Quiet Mode' So You Can Ride In Silence

The days of awkward conversations during Uber rides are now over, at least for some users. Uber has heard our cries and is now offering a “quiet mode” to keep chats to a minimum during rides. The update comes with a list of new rider preferences for Uber Black and Uber Black SUV. “Uber Black and Uber Black SUV riders told us they wanted high-quality service and premium comfort,” Uber Senior Product Manager Aydin Ghajar said in a blog post. “That’s why we’ve improved features and requirements to meet or exceed their expectations on every ride.” The new preference feature is perfect for riders who need to take phone calls, answer emails, nap, or enjoy silence. Those who don’t mind conversing can also make it known in their preferences. The new “quiet mode” and other preferences will only be available to Uber Black and Uber Black SUV users. The move is expected to encourage riders to use Uber’s more expensive offerings. Riders can also set preferences for the car temperature, notify...

Arriana McLymore

May 15, 2019

Multiple People Arrested After 100 Car2Go Mercedes Come Up Missing

Car2Go is now rounding up more than 100 of its luxury cars in Chicago after the vehicles were stolen earlier this week. So far, 16 people have been brought in for questioning, in connection to the scheme that left dozens of Mercedes-Benz vehicles scattered around the city, according to The Verge. Car2Go locked down a partnership in late February with Daimler AG and BMW Group to bring SHARE NOW to Chicago. SHARE NOW ride-sharing service provides 20,000 BMW, Mercedes-Benz, smart, and MINI vehicles available in 30 cities across Europe and North America. Original reports said thieves were able to get away with the vehicles because of a hack; however, Car2Go claims it was due to fraud. Car2Go also said in a tweet that no customers’ personal information had been compromised. “We were not hacked,” Car2Go said in a tweet. “This is an instance of fraud, isolated to Chicago, and we are currently working with law enforcement.”

Arriana McLymore

Apr 18, 2019

Bird Is Laying Off 5 Percent Of Its Workforce

Scooter sharing giant Bird is laying off about 5 percent of its workforce, according to the Information. About 40 employees in the 900-person company were let go for cost reasons. Bird quickly expanded throughout 2018 and has raised almost $400 million so far. Now the company is scaling back scooter fleets in Los Angeles and other cities. Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden told the Information that the company is now focused more on being fiscally responsible. According to TechCrunch, the layoffs were part of the company’s annual performance review and those impacted will be offered severance and other benefits. “As we establish local service centers and deeper roots in cities where we provide service, we have shifting geographic workforce needs,” a Bird spokeswoman said to the Information. Ride-sharing companies have had scooter and bike companies under their watchful eyes as they look to expand to other transportation divisions. Back in December, Uber was in talks to acquire the company...

Arriana McLymore

Mar 15, 2019

Remix Grabs $15M in Funding to Make Your Commute Easier

Commuting is getting harder and slower as populations increase. Urbanization is having a huge impact on transportation systems globally. Now,  Remix — a San Francisco-based startup — is helping cities plan ways to better their infrastructure and cut down on commuters’ strain. Daniel Getelman and his three co-founders Tiffany Chu,  Danny Whalen, and Sam Hashemi started Remix in 2014 during their time with Code For America. The four branched out after the program to expand Remix into what it is today. The company’s latest funding round will help Remix assist in providing cities with tools to plan and manage the impact of newer transportation options like ride-sharing, e-scooters, dockless bikes, and autonomous vehicles. “Transportation has changed more in the last 5 years than the previous 50–” Remix CEO Sam Hashemi said in a blog post. “No one knows for sure what’s coming next, but cities have to be ready regardless. The rapid pace of innovation in transportation is altering not just...

Arriana McLymore

Mar 11, 2019

Lyft Announces $2.50 Flat Fare to Grocery Stores for Families Living in Food Deserts

Lyft announced Monday its partnership with a non-profit organization for the launch of their Grocery Access Program aimed at making it easier for families in Washington D.C. access fresh groceries. The company partnered with Martha’s Table—an organization working to increase access to quality education programs and healthy food—to provide families living in Wards 7 and 8 heavily discounted Lyft rides to local grocery stores. Wards 7 and 8 in D.C. are defined as food deserts, according to the D.C. Policy Center . The median household income in Ward 7 is just over the federal poverty line at $45,469, and median household income for Ward 8 falls below it at $32,967. “Through the program, Martha’s Table and Lyft aim to reduce the time, transportation barriers, and financial burden as hundreds of families plan their shopping trips to select grocery providers, and further Lyft’s mission of improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation,” the company said in a blog post. The...

Jenna Chambers

Dec 12, 2018

Earnings for Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Taking a Nose-Dive

Uber drivers are earning less than half of what they made five years ago, while other sectors are doubling their earnings, according to a recent report from Recode. A study by JPMorgan Chase Institute showed that there was a 53 percent decline in earnings for transportation workers — which include ride-sharing drivers and delivery drivers for other gig economy jobs — between 2013 and 2017. The study distinguished gig economy jobs by transportation, non-transport work, and selling and leasing. JPMorgan Chase Institute looked at more than 39 million Chase checking accounts and tracked payments through 128 online platforms. The leasing sector, which includes Airbnb, saw the largest increase in earnings over the three-year span with 69 percent growth. The non-transport work and selling sectors experienced 1.9 and 9.4 percent increases, respectively. Photo: JPMorgan Chase Institute The average earnings for transportation workers dropped from $1,469 to $783. Leasing sector workers saw...

Arriana McLymore

Sep 24, 2018