Why Does Living in Houston Cost the Same as NYC? Cars

This week, next-day delivery is killing the planet, Uber gets behind congestion pricing, and Skip shows the wisdom of custom scooters, but first…

Peloton delivery van blocks bike lane 🤦(h/t: Kyle Ashley)

Welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, a weekly missive about mobility, mostly mobility in cities by lightweight utility vehicles. The reason you’re reading this email is that you signed up on our website or you came to one of our events. If you’d like to unsubscribe, just click that link.

Now, down to business.


This week we made two important announcements about Micromobility America, our Bay Area conference happening on April 22-23.

First, we began revealing speakers, starting with the roster for our signature Micromobility Executives Roundtable. This year we are bringing together founders and CEOs from four of the most innovative shared micromobility startups in the world: Frank Reig of RevelLawrence Leuschner of TierJulia Steyn of Bolt, and Euwyn Poon of Spin. Learn more about the panel below.

This is just the beginning of what will be our largest, most ambitious program yet. We will be releasing the names of additional speakers, including a full agenda, in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned for big things.

The second important piece of news is that bulk discounts are back. For a limited time, for every ticket you purchase to Micromobility America up to 3, the price per ticket drops $75.

We recommend taking advantage of the bulk rate if you are bringing colleagues to the event. Relatedly, here are some tips to help you have the reimbursement conversation with your manager…

Buy Tickets Now



In the latest episode of the podcast, Oliver Bruce speaks with Emily Castor Warren, formerly a policy architect at Lyft and Lime and currently a venture partner at Fontinalis, about the regulatory outlook for new mobility in cities.

Listen here.

What You Need to Know This Week

  • Leading off, how is it possible that the cost of living in Houston is roughly equal to New York City? Cars. “Monthly median housing costs in Houston in 2016 (the most recent year data was available) were $1,379, nearly $400 less than New York City. However, median transportation costs were $1,152, a figure 38 percent higher than for New Yorkers. In total, the study found, living in Houston was only $79 cheaper each month than New York.” | Texas Monthly

  • The World Economic Forum projects greenhouse gas emissions from delivery vehicles will rise 32% over the next decade if current trends continue. | Scientific American

  • Related: Amazon is taking a step in the right direction by adding 10,000 electric rickshaws to its delivery fleet in India. | Jeff Bezos

  • The rise of bike-sharing has not narrowed the gender gap in cycling. A new multi-year study of three U.S. cities finds that, while women make up nearly half of bike-share subscribers, they take less than a quarter of the total trips. | The Conversation

  • Bolt, an Estonian startup that offers ride-hail, scooter, and food delivery services in Europe and Africa, has raised $56 million from the European Union’s nonprofit European Investment Bank. | TechCrunch

  • Chicago-based micromobility operator Veoride announced its first seated scooter, the Veo Cosmo. | Yahoo Finance

  • Over half the bikes that were sold last year in Belgium were electric. | Bike Europe

  • Charging startup Charge has launched hubs for bikes and scooters on private properties in Los Angeles. The idea is that juicers will pay to reserve space at these stations, allowing them to charge more vehicles per shift. | TechCrunch

Charge SmartHub_Los Angeles
  • Organic Transit, the North Carolina company behind the solar-powered bike/car hybrid Elf, recently filed for Chapter 7 liquidation and is seeking a buyer. | Triangle Business Journal

  • Indego, Philadelphia’s public bike-share system, has temporarily removed ebikes after a series of thefts. | PBS

  • Romania’s newly proposed rules for scooters include a ban on children under 14, a helmet requirement for those under 16, and a law against riding on sidewalks. | Romania Insider

  • Bicycle exports from Cambodia, Vietnam, and Taiwan to the U.S. are surging as American businesses try to get around tariffs on Chinese-made goods. Still, firms are struggling to find alternative manufacturers that can meet their demand. By the end of 2019, only 28% of North American bike companies had shifted their supply chains away from China even partially. | Reuters

Reuters Graphic
  • In a open letter to Congress, Uber called on federal, state, and local lawmakers to build new bike lanes when roads are repaved as well as adopt congestion pricing to fund mass transit and micromobility. The company also released a free data tool that shows its bike trip volume at the street level to help cities and advocates plan smarter infrastructure. | Uber

  • The three most car-dependent cities in the U.S. are Miami, Detroit, and Phoenix. | Streetsblog

  • Washington, D.C. will extend its moped pilot until the end of September and allow each participating company to increase its fleet from 400 to 600 vehicles. | DCist

  • Since Skip started transitioning from the off-the-rack Ninebot ES4 to the purpose-built S3, the scooter operator says it has had to replace 5X fewer parts per 1 million trips. | The Verge

  • With the end of Miami’s scooter pilot approaching, the city commissioner says they are looking at culling the number of providers from 9 to as few as 5. | Miami New Times

  • Lyft is introducing ebikes and adding more docking options to its bike-share program in Columbus, Ohio. | Dispatch

  • After back-to-back exits by Lime and Lyft, the last scooter startups standing in San Antonio are Bird and Razor. | Rivard Report

  • Jump has become the second company after Lime to introduce more accessible vehicles in San Fransisco as part of the city’s adaptive scooter pilot. | TechCrunch

  • Urban progressives across the U.S. are pushing for European-style free public transit as a means of fighting inequality and reducing car use. They are having some early success, especially in communities where transit ridership and fare revenue are already low. | NYT

  • A new app called OurStreets allows cyclists to report bad drivers for violations like blocking the bike lane. | Bicycling

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