A tale of two (Bay Area) cities and e-scooters

This week, Rome is being paved, Uber is getting serious about the “Amazon of transportation” thing, and Bird is raising at a $2.5 billion valuation, but first…

5 Days Left to Save €275

Here it is. The end of July. And it seems like summer’s only just begun…

With the end of the month comes the end of July Special pricing for Micromobility Europe. The sale—33% off General Admission!—ends on Wednesday, July 31, at 11:59pm EST. (Check out the Early Agenda here and stay tuned for more speaker announcements soon.)

This is your last chance to lock in tickets to the world’s largest conference devoted to first-and-last-mile transportation for €275 less than what people who wait will pay.

And if there’s one thing we know, it’s that micromobility people don’t wait. Micromobility people go fast.

You know what to do 👈🎟️

Artwork by Anne Birzin


In the latest episode of the podcast, Oliver Bruce talks to Sampo Hietanen, CEO of Helsinki-based Maas Global/Whim, about the challenges and opportunities of scaling mobility as a service offerings, from ticketing and APIs to regulatory barriers and walled gardens.

Listen here.

Here’s What You Need to Know This Week

  • Bird is raising a Series D round led by Sequoia Capital at a $2.5 billion valuation. The company has declined to comment on the size of the round. | TechCrunch

  • More Americans have died in car crashes since 2000 than in both World Wars combined. | WaPo

  • A new consortium of Spin, Waze, Zipcar, Swiftmile, Ford Mobility, and Transit will develop multimodal, multi-vendor transportation hubs in Pittsburgh. | Post Gazette

  • Spin will also release a third-generation electric scooter with better braking, bigger tires, and longer battery life as part of its ongoing expansion. (When the startup was acquired by Ford in late 2018, it was active in about 15 cities and college campuses. That number is now closer to 50.) | The Verge

  • The Amazon of transportation? Uber is testing out a subscription model in San Francisco and Chicago that, for $25/month, includes free rides on Jump bikes and scooters, fixed ride-hail discounts, and free delivery from Uber Eats. | The Verge

  • … or the Skymall of the street? Uber is also launching a shopping app with Cargo that allows ride-hailers to earn rewards like free shipping and 10% back in Uber Cash for products purchased during trips. | TechCrunch

  • It’s A Tale of Two Cities in the Bay Area but for scooters. In San Francisco, where the vehicle cap is low and whole neighborhoods are off limits for operators, riders are overwhelmingly wealthy and white. Meanwhile, across the water in Oakland, city officials have welcomed scooter-sharing operators but required them to allocate 50 percent of their fleets to disadvantaged neighborhoods. The result is a far more equitable distribution of transportation choices. | East Bay Express

  • Faced with mounting cycling fatalities, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a $58.4 million bike safety plan, which will add 30 miles of protected bike lanes a year going forward. | NYT

  • Meanwhile, in California, a new Senate bill would require new bike lanes to be built or improved whenever state roads are repaved. | ABC 10

  • Drivers crowd women on bikes more often than men, a new study finds. | Star Tribune

  • Is a custom-built Lyft scooter in the works? The company, which relies on Segway models, has hired Bird’s head of vehicle product, Eugene Kwak. | TechCrunch

  • In other Lyft news, the app has now integrated mass transit data in NYC. | Bloomberg

  • When bike-share companies phase out old models, more often than not, they wind up in landfills. | Slate

  • Rome will rip up hundreds of thousands of cobblestones from its busiest streets and replace them with asphalt to make it easier for cars, trucks, bikes, and scooters to travel. The basalt cobblestones, potent symbols of the city’s past, will be reused to pave quieter streets with less traffic. | Telegraph

  • A must-read essay looks at the social, political, environmental, and human cost of cars and asks the question, “When the people of the future look back at our century of auto life, will they regard it as a useful stage of forward motion or as a wrong turn?” | New Yorker

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