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Railroad Strike Could Crush Curbs, SF Plans Transit Revamp, Rivian's New EV Trucks
Railroad Strike Could Crush Curbs, SF Plans Transit Revamp, Rivian's New EV TRUCKS
Before we get to this week's updates, we’re pleased to announce we're partnering with the Sharing Economy Global Summit hosted by Lloyd's of London, which will take place October 11-13, 2022. Please RSVP shortly to join us as a guest and receive a 50% discount on your registration. To take advantage of our limited quantity of discounted passes, please contact Andrea Antoniou immediately.
Organized by our partner Marketplace Risk and presented by Aon and Veriff in partnership with Sharing Economy UK, this is the only conference that empowers startups in the marketplace and sharing economy to gather for learning, networking and sharing best practices about risk management, trust & safety, compliance, and legal.
With over 55 sessions hosted by more than 100 founders, operators and industry leaders and packed with practical subject matter, you’ll learn about:
✔️ Risk Management
✔️ Trust & Safety
✔️ Digital Identity
✔️ Background Checks & Screening
✔️ Payments & Fraud Prevention
✔️ Compliance & Regulatory
✔️ Insurance & Risk Transfer
✔️ Crisis Management & Communications
✔️ Product & Technology Innovation
To learn more about the conference and reserve your spot, check out the Marketplace Risk website.
HOT INDUSTRY NEWS & GOSSIP
Railroad strike could crush curbs: Hot off the recent news of impending labor action at UPS, Railroad workers are also on the verge of striking, as the Class I RRs balk at increasing pay and improving sick leave policies. At first this might seem mildly off topic, but the reverberations could brutally impact the curb. The obvious implication is that less train availability will mean more trucks on the roads - which would slow highways from coast to coast. But local streets will really feel the pain in metro areas with large intermodal yards that will now see semis cruising locally as they pick up port cargo. Look out Long Beach / East LA, Newark, Tacoma, etc.
The next spillover effect will be felt on public transit, as many of the major commuter rail systems (and Amtrak) interact with affected freight lines. Those networks include two MARC lines serving DC / Maryland, four Chicago Metra lines, five SoCal Metrolink lines, two lines in the SF Bay Area, and more. Given that commuter rail's 9-to-5 city center ridership has dropped even harder than the country's bus and metro ridership - this could really challenge a number of already beleaguered transit providers.
The last open question is how much this would punish supply chains which had finally started to recover, as well as potentially push inflation higher. If restaurants and markets cant get food on the shelves, and holiday goods can't get to retailers, we might even see federal action to bring both sides back to the bargaining table. But it looks like there could be light at the end of the (train) tunnel.
Doordash and Instacart duke it out... The big delivery networks are going head to head in the battle for grocery shoppers' dollars. DD just poached West Coast regional grocery player Raley's from Instacart, adding 213 stores to its growing arsenal, after recently adding Dollar General and BJ's as partners as well. Instacart is in turn making moves to strengthen its offering to independent grocers, having just acquired ecommerce tech provider Rosie, and sales insights platform Eversight.
SF's big transit plans! California's high speed rail authority just released a slick video detailing the HSR route between Silicon Valley and San Francisco, set to link the two cores in under 30 minutes (with a stop at SFO along the way.) Concurrently, leaders in downtown SF have rebranded the project to extend CAHSR and Caltrain a mile further into the city's core "The Portal" - although they've yet to secure all the necessary funds. These projects could be as transformative for the Bay Area as the opening of BART was 50 years ago, (happy birthday!) allowing folks to seamlessly cross the region without a car. But that latter system is facing some headwinds; with tech workers particularly prone to working from home, BART is facing a looming fiscal crisis. That said, there may be light at the end of the tunnel, as BART continues to push into the congested and auto-oriented South Bay region. Will a new East Bay to San Jose commute option be enough to get techies back on board?
Good and bad news for electric trucks? Rivian and Daimler announce a tie-up to build EV delivery vans, in what's seen as a coup for the startup truck maker. Hopefully this is enough to counter the giant distraction that is the ongoing Nikola fraud lawsuit....
Workers wanna be home: New research shows just how much workers (especially women) value the ability to work from home across the globe. Looks like downtown restaurants in Canada, Singapore and India are really going to keep hurting, and Ukrainians are particularly likely to value WFH days over pay raises (can't blame them!)
Come say hi in Miami or SF? The Curbivore Crew is hitting the conference circuit this week. If you're in Miami for Smart City Expo USA, come say hey to Jonah (and stop by his panel on Thursday!) Or if you're in the Bay Area for Micromobility America, be sure to hit up Harry.
Fruitful legislation: Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR.) - chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - recounts the particularly impressive parts of the recent slate of legislative successes that are poised to reshape this country's infrastructure for the better. The Safe Streets and Roads for All program could be particularly transformative...
Building bigger batteries! How did California manage to survive last week's brutal heatwave? The same way it's going to power its EV revolution: really, really, really big batteries.
Commute patterns revealed: New data out of the D.C. region puts numbers behind a gut feeling that's true across the country - teleworking is up and commuting is still down. Given the DMV's high transit mode share, the data there is showing a very high drop in train and bus usage, whereas comparable stats from a sunbelt city would likely see even stronger declines to solo driving. (Another thing to watch - will those now sensitive about sharing space with others ever go back to carpooling?)
Let there be links: Can you sell frozen pizza on Doordash? (Probably not!) But you can get some tools from Lowe's delivered on Instacart. New dashboard shows how various municipalities and micromobility operators can achieve equity when building shared mobility systems. Could office vacancy and price inflation crises finally spur NYC to reform its famously restrictive food truck laws? Oopsie - overly eager delivery bot cruises through crime scene. LA seeks new bus shelters. Street vendors rally for SB972. Talk about upcycling - old Jump bikes given second life. Priests in cars in Milwaukee: a research paper. New art project mixes IG and CCTV. Tech companies vie to monetize the curb.
Don't forget to say hi in Miami or the Bay Area!
- Jonah Bliss & The Curbivore Crew