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Bike Boom Part II
Marketplace Risk returns Oct 30 - Nov 1
The Marketplace Risk Global Summit is Europe's largest marketplace conference, hosted by the prestigious Lloyd's of London. Set your calendars for October 30th to November 1st, 2023, as this transformative Global Summit gathers the brightest minds and influential leaders in the marketplace and digital platform industry for three days of insightful discussions, networking opportunities, and collaboration.
Each year Europe convenes at the Marketplace Risk Global Summit - the first and only conference focused on risk management, trust & safety, compliance & regulatory and legal strategy for marketplaces and digital platforms - to learn, network and exchange best practices and trends.
As the marketplace and digital platform ecosystems continue to evolve and thrive, the importance of risk management and trust & safety become increasingly paramount. The Global Summit explores the latest trends, challenges, and innovative solutions in mitigating risks within marketplaces and digital platforms.
Join 500+ founders, operators and professionals for three days of education and networking at the iconic Lloyd's building, including from Alibaba, Boatsetter, Bolt, Brainly, Depop, DoorDash, ebay, Fiverr, Getaround, Gett, Glovo, Google, HelloFresh, Hertz, Hinge, Hipcamp, Intel, Just Eat, Lime, Meta, RentMy, RVezy, TaskRabbit, Tripadvisor, Turo, Uber, Vinted, Wolt, Wikimedia, Wonolo, ZEPETO, and many more.
As a peer-led event, 500+ attendees have the unique opportunity to learn strategies and tactics that have been tested and vetted through real-world experiences by industry-leading marketplaces and digital platforms on various topics and subject matter, including:
Generative AI and Emerging Technologies
Trust & Safety and Content Moderation
KYC and Digital Identity Verification
Background Checks & Screening Solutions
Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Regulations
Payment Processing & Fraud Prevention
Biometrics and Behavioral Analytics
Incident Handling and Dispute Resolution
Worker Classification Regulations & Trends
Risk Management and Insurance Programs
And so much more!
Marketplaces and digital platforms can register here using code CGUESTGS25 for a discounted registration. We hope to see you in London!
Urban Biking Is Up, But Where?
Last week we looked at synthesized data showing that biking usage was up, albeit with interesting caveats. Now, perfectly timed, the Census has released its 2022 American Community Survey, and we can see some diverging trends with how Americans commute. Overall, 731,272 Americans used bicycles as their main mode of transportation to work in 2022, up from 616,153 last year, but down from 805,772 the year prior to the pandemic and 904,463 in the peak year of 2014.
But commuting of all sorts is still down from pre-pandemic, as folks work from home instead of heading to desks at the office. While pro-car commentators have noted that in the bike mecca of metro Portland, bicycle commuting fell to 14,366 in 2022 from 24,486 in 2019, car commuting fell from 995,358 to 792,065 in that same time period.
Meanwhile, in greater NYC, bike commuting rose from 64,094 to 77,335 over that same period, picking up some of the commuters that fled the subway system. But of course the big change is again centered around working from home, up from 228,820 to a tremendous 1,562,742.
As we saw in the StreetLight Data report, bike trips of myriad uses are up. But if we want to get it growing again as a commute mode as workers start to head back to the office, it’s important that cities invest in cohesive bike networks and truly protected, curbside bike lanes. That’s a far more effective use of dollars than say spending $1.3 billion to expand a downtown freeway (maybe Portland isn’t such a bike mecca after all?)
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HOT INDUSTRY NEWS & GOSSIP
Decongesting the curb: Speaking of the Big Apple, more details are starting to emerge on how NYC plans to raise and spend the money it raises from its congestion pricing cordon on Midtown and Downtown. Most drivers will pay $15 to enter, although lower income motorists will pay lowered rates for repeat usage (hmm.) The city’s also formalizing its plans for transit improvements, including extending the Second Ave Subway, replacing fleets and elevated tracks, and funding a light rail line between Brooklyn and Queens. Two New Jersey congresspersons are also asking that the city play to extend the 7 train into NJ, which is certainly a better idea than suing to stop congestion pricing, but would have been a much better ask when plans started emerging a good decade plus ago.
The streets of Somerville: 200 miles over, Boston’s little sibling — Somerville — is planning a dramatic overhaul of its streets and curbs. Somervilleans can look forward to more bike lanes, expanded public plazas, increased street tree canopy, and more.
And the streets of Seattle: Heading west, Seattle has a vision for greener streets and sidewalks as well. The Climate Change Response Framework aims to reduce emissions by making it safer and more comfortable to use transit, bikes and EVs. The city also nods to improving the sustainability of freight transportation.
A new use for Uber: Uber’s launching a new tool for ecommerce addicts, Package Returns. The new service lets Uber and Uber Eats users summon a courier to pick up prepaid boxes to return to USPS, FedEx and UPS.
Bus it: The City of Los Angeles approved $30 million towards adding new bus shelters across council districts. Funded by an infrastructure loan, the city plans to offset the expenses with advertising revenue.
Delivery pay up! NY State Judge Nicholas Moyne denied an injunction sought by Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash, meaning the 3PDs now must pay couriers $17.96 per hour. While the deliverers’ suit against the city can continue, the judge felt that in the meantime the city had “subpoenaed data from the platforms that would have enabled it to model incidence of higher pay on detailed subsets of merchants and consumers, the platforms failed to produce it” and that the companies’ concerns around on-call time had been addressed. The city has roughly 65k delivery workers — previously averaging around $11 per hour — and at this point just about any street, sidewalk or curb near a busy restaurant is essentially a small ecosystem of gig workers and their delivery vehicles (see our recent photo from outside a Downtown Brooklyn Chick-fil-A.)
A parking juggernaut: LA-based Metropolis just closed a whopping $1.7 billion funding round, with about $650M of that coming as debt financing. As part of the deal, the computer vision enabled parking tech startup will acquire Chicago’s SP+, one of the nation’s largest parking lot managers.
em-BART-rasing! The project to extend BART’s subway to the San Jose / Silicon Valley region is estimated to take 10 years longer than initially planned, with the budget now climbing to $12.2 billion, double the project’s original price tag. That means this six mile subway extension, through simple, low density terrain, now costs as much as the entirety of Spain’s ~400 mile Madrid to Barcelona high speed rail line. For another point of comparison, France is building a new metro line in the mid-size city of Toulousse; that 17-mile, 21-staton, mostly underground project is expected to cost €3.4 billion ($3.6B USD) and take just 6 years to build. Can we maybe get some of that state capacity over here?
But not all is well in Europe: The U.K. is scraping part of their plans for HS2 — a high speed rail line meant to reinvigorate cities not named London — and redeploying the funds towards highway construction and other pro-motorist subsidies. I suppose one could argue that Britain isn’t really Europe at this point…
EV snack mart: As electric vehicles slowly obviate the need for the snack station attached to the gas station, where are hungry commuters meant to stop for a Hostess treat or Big Gulp? Fear not: as Rove builds out its fast charging network across, the startup has just announced a new partnership with Gelson’s, whereby the SoCal upmarket grocer will program convenience stores that accompany the plugs. From the sound of it, your Ho Hos and Diet Cokes are gonna get replaced with poke and charcuterie.
Why build your own bot? Over at OttOmate, I chat with Arnold Kadiu, CEO of Intermode. His Detroit-based startup builds robots on behalf of the PDD companies, and he makes a pretty compelling case for his business model.
Curbivore! Did you miss last week’s big announcement? Curbivore is returning March 28th and 29th, and for a limited time we’re offering $99 tickets. Register now!
A few good links: NY comptroller faults MTA for lack of climate resilience plans. Last week’s NYC street flooding exacerbated by the giant mounds of trash the city has people plop on the curb. Sign this petition to the turn a freeway into a park. Agencies celebrate Clean Air Day. LA Metro unveils new owl service map. GM’s CTO resigns after one month on the job. Average car payments hit new high: $736/mo. Colorado considers charging cars by weight. Starship nears 50 robotic college campuses.
Until next week!
- Jonah Bliss & The Curbivore Crew