Wednesday’s Headlines

  • Lyft is growing, but will it ever be profitable? It lost nearly $1 billion in 2018, even though gross revenue doubled. Read the fine print in its IPO filing, and the company admits it might not make any money for at least 11 years. (Fortune)
  • In related news, auto manufacturers know that selling cars to individuals probably isn’t the business model of the future. Problem is, the business model of the future — which they see as ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles — isn’t profitable today. (Bloomberg)
  • Another sign of the rapidly changing mobility business: Hartford, Conn., is the latest city where Uber-owned Lime is getting out of the bike-share business. (Courant) Former bike-share companies are pivoting to e-scooters because that’s what riders prefer, according to Bicycling magazine. But there are concerns about safety and the durability of scooters.
  • Duke University listed electromagnetic interference with medical and scientific equipment as one of its reasons for backing out of the planned Durham-Orange, N.C. light rail line. But it only recently raised that concern despite having years to do so. (Duke Chronicle) Meanwhile, rail supporters are rallying the troops in nearby Chapel Hill. (Daily Tarheel)
  • As the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority prepares to raise fares, riders say they’d prefer for MBTA to receive a larger tax subsidy instead. Some support discounts for seniors and students, and even free fare for everyone. (WGBH)
  • A Greenville News columnist makes the case for three common-sense bills that would help protect pedestrians in South Carolina, one of the most dangerous states for walking. One requires drivers to stop (rather than yield) for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Another bans holding a cellphone while driving (not just texting while driving, which is already illegal). A third directs SCDOT to implement Complete Streets.
  • Philadelphia has chosen Fairhill and Willard as the two neighborhoods from among 28 applicants to become “slow zones.” They were picked for their high crash rates and high proportion of children and elderly residents. (KYW)
  • Tucson, Ariz., is upgrading its crosswalks with HAWK signals, which flash blinking lights when activated. Drivers stop at them 96 percent of the time. (Star)
  • The South Florida Sun Sentinel asks if streets are dangerous by design. (Spoiler alert: yes.)
  • New York artist Jake Berman made a series of illustrations showing what the long-gone streetcar systems in Dallas and other cities used to look like. “It’s sad that we did this to ourselves,” he told Patch.
  • About a quarter of Dutch workers commute by bike. To encourage even more people to bike to work, the government pays them 22 cents for every kilometer they pedal. (Huffington Post)
  • And finally, Wired ran funny drawings of people trying to remember what bikes look like. The artist’s web page offers more.

Note: One of Monday’s headlines conflated the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) with the National Association of City Transportation Officials. NACTO paved the way, so to speak, for traffic engineers on bike lanes.