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How St. Louis Took a Proactive Approach to E-Scooter Regulation

November 18, 2019

Lime scooter

November 14, 2019

As practically anyone living in an urban area has experienced first hand, e-scooter companies have tended to take an “ask for forgiveness, not permission” approach to deploying fleets of e-scooters in cities across the world with little to no notice beforehand. While this disruption-based method has left many cities scrambling to reactivity figure out how to manage the chance, St. Louis was able to take a proactive approach, thanks to a failed public bikeshare program.

When the bikeshare program didn’t pan out after a grant failed to come through, the city’s bikeshare working group did produce a permitting system that was ready to be applied when e-scooters descended on St. Louis in early 2018. With equity top of mind, “the permit identifies a number of neighborhoods where we require there to be a percentage of dockless bikes or e-scooters every day,” explains Scott Ogilvie, the transportation policy planner in the Planning and Urban Design Agency for the City of St. Louis. The city requires 2.5 percent of the minimum fleet of each area and a minimum of 20 percent of the total fleet to be in neighborhoods outside the central corridor at the start of each day. “We don’t want to offer a new amenity in the city that’s not available to a large portion of the city. That’s part of the permit we’re proud of,” Ogilvie says.

The flexibility that comes from...

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Car Sharing Service Turo Relies on Data to Get Ahead in Crowded Rental Market

October 22, 2019

Turo Office

When it comes to marketing, Turo tries to make every dollar count.

The company — sometimes referred to as the “Airbnb of car rentals” — was founded in 2009 with operations in San Francisco and Boston, and has since expanded to more than 5,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Germany, and the U.K. It competes not only against established car rental giants such as National, Enterprise, Dollar, Avis and Hertz, but also against similar peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing platforms such as Getaround.

Turo offers car owners, whom it calls “hosts,” a way to earn money sharing their vehicles with renters, or “guests,” who benefit from Turo’s broad selection of vehicles and potential savings compared with traditional car rental agencies.

An extensive report on the P2P car sharing industry published last year by the University of California, Berkeley, estimated that in 2017, about 2.9 million people in North America were participating in P2P car sharing across six different platforms with a combined fleet of 131,336 shared vehicles...

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