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✊🏙 SF awards scooter operating permits 🛴 Uber confirms focus on dockless bikes 🚲 & much more!

Hey urbanists, Interesting developments on the mobility front this week. San Francisco made a stateme
September 2 · Issue #49 · View online
Radical Urbanist
Hey urbanists,
Interesting developments on the mobility front this week. San Francisco made a statement with its choice of companies to receive scooter permits, while Uber confirmed that dockless bikes are becoming a major focus. It’s fascinating how quickly scooters and dockless bikes have become such a major consideration.
As always, there are also some interesting links at the end of the issue. Have a great Sunday!

San Francisco makes a statement with scooter permits
San Francisco announced which companies would be given permits to operate scooter services in the city, and they’re likely not names you’ll recognized. Skip and Scoot will be allowed to operate 1,250 scooters each, with the possibility of an increase in six months.
Uber, Lyft, Bird, Lime, and many others were left out. The city ranked each company based on “how well they educate users on safe riding practices, their experience operating logistics businesses, and how they’ll ensure their scooters are redistributed to low-income residential areas.” Bird was near the bottom.
Many are (rightfully) seeing this as a message from San Francisco that they will no longer tolerate transportation startups that ask for forgiveness rather than permission. It should come as no surprise that after flooding the streets, both Lime and Bird have announced a number of initiatives to try to rehabilitate their images — but clearly it wasn’t enough for San Francisco.
Uber CEO confirms focus on bikes
In a new interview with the Financial Times, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi confirmed that the company’s focus for shorter trips will shift from its ride-hailing service to its new dockless bike offerings after the purchase of Jump Bike earlier this year.
This shouldn’t be seen as a huge surprise, as Khosrowshahi talked about the cannibalization of short ride-hail trips back in May as Jump took off in San Francisco. I would suggest, however, that the emphasis placed on the new bike and scooter offerings also indicates what I’ve been saying for a while: Uber’s enthusiasm about autonomous vehicles has clearly faded.
In the interview, Khosrowshahi also says that this move is about growing the company over achieving short-term profit, whereas the previous path to profitability — as defined by former CEO Travis Kalanick — was automating drivers.
Other great reads
🇦🇺 Victorian Labor announces ambitious $50 billion, 90-kilometer suburban rail loop to link existing Melbourne train lines
Lack of affordable housing has 59% of renters in Greater Toronto “seriously considering leaving … because of the cost of owning a home”
🏢 Architecture needs more diversity. “I don’t believe that men and women design differently, or that poverty and ethnicity inform architecture, but lived experience is a great teacher.”
👍 Deep dive on e-scooters, their proliferation in US cities, and what they mean for the future of urban mobility
💰 Disneyland asked Anaheim to end its tax subsidies — just in time to avoid a ballot measures that requires all subsidized companies to pay a living wage
🌳 Are music festivals impeding people’s ability to enjoy public parks?
🚗 Urban planners aren’t planning for autonomous vehicles, they’re reacting as developments occur
🚌 Can US cities learn from Seoul’s bus system redesign?
☀️ California may soon commit to 100% clean energy by 2045
✊️❤️ Thanks for reading, and feel free to follow me on TwitterMedium, or Instagram for even more!
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