Movements | June 25th, 2018

Here we go! Issue #4 brought to you by Michal Naka and Adam Feldman.


A few teardowns of SF scooter- and bike-share permit applications provide a view into various companies’ visions for urban mobility| Michal NakaCory WeinbergSF Chronicle

Making space for small vehicles. “Electric motors can accommodate a far greater variety of vehicle designs, while the ability to tap into shared vehicle fleets means that individuals don’t need to rely on a single vehicle for all their needs.” Frontier Group

Lime’s Series C pitch deck highlights from Axios:

  • Merchant Deals: With 500K+ credit cards on file, Lime wants to show users nearby deals at restaurants and potentially start a food delivery business leveraging Lime ‘Juicer’ contractors.

  • Transit Pods: Otherwise known as a freefloating carshare service using electric Renault Twizy vehicles. Lime will quickly find out that this is a much harder business given the high capital cost and much more complex operations vs. scooters.

  • Scooters: Avg of 9.4 trips and $27.40 in revenue per day per scooter.

Lime is expanding to Paris with 200 scooters| Financial Times

Bird continues to launch outside of coastal cities with new service in Memphis, San Antonio and Indianapolis | Indianapolis Star

Moped sharing service Muving launches in Atlanta | Curbed

On a personal note, I visited Tel Aviv last week and was blown away by the ubiquity of electric scooters and bikes. A few observations:

  • I don’t think there’s a single, shared, electric, dockless service operating there yet everyone is riding them

  • Every Xiaomi store was basically only selling scooter gear

  • The bike infrastructure there is incredible


Mobike is testing ‘deposit-free’ bikeshare pricing scheme in Tier 2 and Tier 3 Chinese cities. Traditionally, bikeshare users in China had to fork over hefty deposits in order to use the service |Technode

Ofo says it’s bike and in-app ad business has already generated $15 million (RMB 100) in revenue two months after launch | Technode

Interview with Segway/Ninebot VP of Global Business Development, Tony Ho, on the scooter explosion | Cheddar

The scale and speed of the Chinese mobility market is just massive. This Bain research piece in Forbes highlights a number of really interesting data points, especially when compared to the US:

  • In 2017 China had 120m monthly active bikeshare bikes (this market didn’t exist three years ago) and the GMV of the ride-hail industry reached $30B

  • Unlike in the US, roughly 50% of ride-hail trips begin with some kind of consumer aggregator like Alipay, Wechat, and Dianping


Uber is starting to push drivers towards electric vehicles. It’s unclear if the lower operating cost per mile and higher purchase price make this economical just yet, but it will very soon. And when that happens the transition to shared, electric vehicles will happen way faster than most expect.| LA Times,

JoyRide: HQ Trivia for Uber. Win to get your ride for free| App Store

TNCs are trying to handle every possible trip that gets you from A to B with the click of a button. As they expand into bikes and scooters and innovate on the digital consumer experience of public transit, we could see real improvements to how people move around cities. Rhetoric aside, there’s a real business case to be made for enabling these other modes: “In San Francisco, about 58,000 ride-hailed trips a day, a third of all Uber and Lyft trips, are single-passenger hops of less than 3 miles” SF Chronicle

Products and Updates

Coord’s multi-modal router expands to cover the San Francisco Bay Area | Streetsblog

How maps became the new search box | Wired

Citymapper adds dockless scooters and bikes | Techcrunch

Uber Eats adds mode detection, augmenting GPS with accelerometer data to infer trip updates from delivery partners to optimize delivery times. Will Uber leverage this to facilitate intermodal trips in the future?| Uber Engineering

You can no longer book Uber rides directly inside Google Maps | Ars Technica

Transit App partnership with Baltimore and Swiftly | Transit

Uber is internally experimenting with a way for riders to save money in exchange for slightly later pickups | CNET

ReachNow partners with a real estate developer to provide tenants with access to cars | GeekWire


Los Angeles released a Strategic Implementation Plan for Urban Mobility. This is the clearest articulation we’ve seen yet from a city agency for how code will come to replace concrete as the infrastructure for mobility services.| LADOT

On the opportunity cost of land used for roads | David Levinson

San Francisco increases fines on scooter companies up to $500. For comparison, it’s about $110 fine for an automobile to block the bikelane| Streetsblog

Donald Shoup opines on the glut of free street parking in NYC. Specifically, 97% of it is free. For those of you who don’t know of his work, he wrote the book on how parking policy impacts every aspect of urban life: The High Cost of Free Parking. In short, he argues that providing tremendous amounts of free parking actually costs cities and their inhabitants a whole lot more in the form of higher real estate prices, dead space, and more traffic. | NY Times

An interesting look at the collection of apps and services that you need to successfully navigate NYC, and perhaps an unintentional overview of some of the interesting mobility services developments happening here. | NY Times


Trying out a new section here. A few cool startups that we’ve come across in the past few weeks:

  • Trov — providing on-demand insurance for ridehail services, among other things. Waymo is their marquee customer.

  • Mapfit — a mapping API service that competes with Mapbox and Google. Their primary differentiator seems to be their geocoder which can help to differentiate primary, secondary, delivery, and parking entrances.

  • Upshift — a vehicle subscription service that picks up/drops off the car for you and bundles in all of the costs of ownership. It’s very cost effective for occasional car users.

  • Sure — insurance for… many things. But the neat part is their RideSafeoffering, covering riders in TNC vehicles against gaps in coverage. Their site suggests that they’re going to start covering bike and scooter share services soon.