Followups: Scooters, tech, and traditional transportation ditching Uber’s playbook

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Bird debuts Bird Platform, which sells scooters to entrepreneurs, who can add their brand and rent them out, using Bird’s chargers and mechanics for a 20% cut

by TechCrunch 2018.11.27

An interview with Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden

by The Information 2018.07.20

“I don’t see a world where major transportation [services] are aggregated into one small app. The last-mile problem and the e-scooter solution is such a big mode of transportation it makes sense to have a custom app experience just for that,” said Mr. VanderZanden…

“[Rather than deferring to a multimodal transportation aggregator like Uber,] a vast majority of people that ride Bird actually just do it by discovering Bird on the street. That triggers them to open the app. It’s less about opening the app and trying to find one. For that reason, we actually think staying stand-alone is ultimately what we want to do as a company.”

The city of Portland, Oregon released data from study on the impact of scooters (in partnership with Bird, Lime, and Skip)

by The New York Times 2019.01.15

…the most detailed analysis of the impact of e-scooters on a city. Scooters often replaced short car trips in Portland, offering some support for one of the biggest selling points the companies have made to communities: They can help reduce congestion and pollution. And the scooters did not lead to as many injuries as some had feared.

How Bird is trying to make its unit economics work; experimenting with its business model; developing own scooters better suited for sharing; and more

by The Los Angeles Times 2019.05.05

But today, facing a crowded field of competitors, pushback and fees from local governments, and fundamental questions about whether any company can make money by releasing electric scooters into the wild and charging per ride, staying aloft is proving harder than it first appeared… The company is pinning its hopes on the Bird Zero, a custom scooter with longer battery life and sturdier construction…

But most start-ups that follow the hypergrowth [“blitzscaling”] model are built on software… Bird and its competitors, including Lime, Spin, Uber and Lyft, are in the much less forgiving business of managing a fleet of breakable, stealable scooters…

“It’s not that there isn’t a viable business model for these companies… It’s just not the Uber business model ...”

Bird CEO announces unit economics for new proprietary scooters

by TechCrunch 2019.07.12

Bird makes $1.27 on every ride on its Bird Zero scooters, which accounts for more than 75 percent of its fleet [but] it seems that figure is based on a period of four weeks in the summer, when scooter ridership is likely higher [due to seasonality]…

[Bird’s CEO VanderZanden] also tweeted that the company’s [revenue] run rate is four times higher from this time last year.

Uber and Lyft finally admit they’re making traffic congestion worse in cities

by The Verge 2019.08.06

The findings show that Uber and Lyft account for just 1–3 percent of VMT [vehicle miles traveled] in the broader metropolitan areas of each city. But those numbers spike when zooming in on the core county of each city… Ride-hailing accounts for up to 14 percent of vehicle miles traveled in some cities, according to a study commissioned by Uber and Lyft… In San Francisco County, for example, Uber and Lyft make up as much as 13.4 percent of all vehicle miles. In Boston, it’s 8 percent; in Washington, DC, it’s 7.2 percent…

[O]n average, just 54 to 62 percent of the vehicle miles traveled by Uber and Lyft vehicles were with a rider in the backseat; while a third of VMT occurs with no passenger in the vehicle, also known as deadheading…

76 percent of Americans [are] commuting alone to work[.]

E-scooter startup Lime cuts costs in a profitability push

by Axios 2020.01.09

After two years of explosive growth, scooter companies have entered a new phase — survival of the fittest in a capital-intensive, money-losing industry.

Lime is not the first or only scooter company to make cuts. Bird, Scoot, Lyft, and Skip have all held layoffs or retreated from certain markets over the past year.

The companies have generated headlines for huge losses as they attempt to manage vehicle attrition, labor costs, and regulatory battles [but Lime projects profitability in 2020] based in part on improvements to Lime scooters’ longevity, which in 2019 went from from six months to about 14 months.

Cities are analyzing digital data from electric scooters and motor-assisted bicycles to help traffic, policy, and urban planning

by The New York Times (NYT) 2020.02.05

[Hoboken, New Jersey used] data from the pilot [e-scooter] program — route volumes and popular ridership corridors — [to inform] moves like installing protected bike lanes (separated from car traffic by flexible bollards) and designating preferred parking zones… By comparison, he added, “Uber and Lyft are a black box”…

“The most oversubscribed asset is curb space,” he said, citing ride-hailing services, package trucks and food delivery as competitors for a stopping place on crowded streets. Among the possibilities for a data-enabled system of the future: curb reservation systems.

JUMP employees blame the bikeshare company’s downfall on Uber applying a software business mentality to an analog transportation business after M&A

by VICE 2020.06.24

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