Also: The hidden horror of Hudson Yards, and a buddy-cop novel about gentrification.
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What We’re Following
Ride shares: On Thursday, Uber published its initial public offering to the Securities and Exchange Commission, outlining its business potential and risks as it seeks $10 billion from investors. The full document reveals what the ride-hailing company thinks its future may hold, as well as details about how much money it has lost through subsidizing 1.5 billion rides; investments in driverless cars, e-bikes, and scooters; and the risks to its profitability posed by regulation, safety, and insurance costs. It’s clear from the filing that the company’s ability to make a profit will rely on further convincing cities to set favorable policies and partnerships to bolster its business, as CityLab’s Laura Bliss wrote late last year when Uber and Lyft supported congestion pricing in New York.
Uber’s proclaimed mission that it “ignites opportunity” by “setting the world in motion” may invite some eyerolls, but the company’s global footprint demonstrates how it has already changed the world. “Uber almost doesn’t feel like a business, but rather some essential service that investors believe should exist, so they’ve continued to inject money into it,” writes The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal, who calls Uber’s IPO a landmark as it careens toward finally, just maybe, turning a profit.
More on Uber’s IPO
One quarter of Uber’s business happens in just five cities (Slate)
Uber is losing less money, but growing less, too (Wired)
Who does Uber compete with? Everyone. (Quartz)
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
White House proposed releasing immigrant detainees in sanctuary cities, targeting political foes (Washington Post)
Nine million tons of furniture go to landfills each year. (Curbed)
Could Barcelona’s plan for superblocks work in the United States? (Vox)
LeBron James opened a school that was considered an experiment. It’s showing promise (New York Times)