Monday’s Headlines

  • Uber filed paperwork for its long-awaited initial public stock offering. Despite the company’s claims that it complements transit, the IPO reveals what we’ve suspected all along: It’s competing with public transportation. The goal is to operate at a loss until it achieves dominance, then jack up prices. (Jalopnik)
  • More on the Uber IPO: The company lost $1.8 billion on $11.3 billion in revenue last year, and growth is beginning to slow (NY Times). That’s less of a loss than in 2017, but revenue growth also fell by half (Wired). Its biggest vulnerability may be that a quarter of its rides came from just five cities: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London and Sao Paulo (Slate). The losses make Uber seem like an essential service investors want to exist, rather than a typical business that’s forced to turn a profit, says City Lab. Some of those losses are self-inflicted, for example spending nearly half a billion on pie-in-the-sky autonomous- and flying-car research (Tech Crunch).
  • Meanwhile, competitor Lyft is partnering with a nonprofit to invest $50 million in parks and transit. (Curbed)
  • Lyft-owned Citi Bike, Capital Bike Share and the Bay Area’s Go-Bike had to ground their entire e-bike fleets because of a front brake problem, a story broken by our StreetsblogNYC colleagues.
  • Las Vegas officials have opted for bus rapid transit over light rail for a transit line from downtown along the Strip to the airport, mainly because it’s only a third of the cost. However, the vast majority of citizens who commented on the project preferred rail. (Nevada Current)
  • Although Kansas City missed out on a federal grant to extend its streetcar this year, officials are hopeful they’ll get ’em next time. (Star)
  • Honolulu will also have to wait another year for federal funding for a light-rail line. (Civil Beat)
  • After a successful pilot program, San Francisco is considering doubling the number of e-scooters allowed in the city. (Chronicle)
  • Missouri is one of just two states that hasn’t fully banned texting while driving, but that could change soon. (KROG)
  • A bill to let Seattle install cameras to catch drivers blocking intersections and bike lanes has a second life. (KIRO)
  • An SUV driver who ran over two pedestrians has residents in Washington’s Tri-Cities area talking about how streets are designed for drivers’ convenience. (KEPR)
  • A Washington, D.C. elementary school has a new “traffic park” where kids can ride bikes and play on miniature city streets. (WAMU)
  • TakeFive

    Bruce Schaller is being disingenuous as usual; either that or he doesn’t understand public filings. Companies going public are required to name all known and ‘potential’ risks. Technically if 1% of Uber users come from previous transit riders or if 5% of transit riders occasionally use Uber, then there’s competition. Rather than some evil conspiracy this merely common sense. Can it complement transit as well? Of course.

  • Stephen Simac

    “A mother and daughter racing to catch a bus were hit by a driver who
    couldn’t see them because the car in the next lane had stopped to let
    them pass.” Did the driver wonder why the car had stopped?

    “We can’t just run over them,” he (the police spokesman) explained. “You need to stop for them.
    Let them cross the street, but they should be going to a posted
    crosswalk at an intersection for their safety.” It’s as if he were never a pedestrian.