The European Court of Justice says yes, Uber really is a taxi company.

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Uber, ruled: Uber’s tough year just got a little worse. The European Court of Justice ruled today that, for all intents and purposes, Uber is a taxi company. That doesn’t quite settle what regulatory strings are attached, but it’s quite a call-out to the always odd notion that the company sees itself as just a technology company that enables peer-to-peer connections, rather than a transportation service. Long-term, this could have implications for Uber’s relationship with its drivers.

Walk the line: Jaywalking is pretty easy to define, but as one reporter’s tweets show, sometimes cops have trouble getting the law straight: they’ve written tickets for not crossing inside a crosswalk, or dancing, or keeping “info on the DL.” The funny tickets come from a serious new story by ProPublica and the Florida Times-Union that reviewed 2,000 pedestrian tickets and found hundreds of “bad tickets” misapplying statutes.

Oh, Elon: In case you missed it, transit advocates went to war with Elon Musk after he railed against the pitfalls of public transportation. His comments revealed one thing: He’s trying to disrupt urban transit without understanding how, and why, it works.


More on CityLab

Passenger Rail Has an Accountability Problem: The fatal derailment in Washington is the latest reminder of how the U.S. gives train passengers short shrift.

No, Young People Aren't Fleeing Cities: “Peak Millennial” doesn’t mean what it used to, because Millennials are getting older. And even still, they’re sticking around cities more than older generations.

To Defeat an Incumbent Mayor, Run in an Off-Cycle Election Year: Out of the spotlight of national politics, challengers stand a better chance.

HBO Revisits the Baltimore Uprising: The activists at the center of a new documentary talk about the fate of the city’s struggling police reform efforts.

An App to End Pregnant Women's Quest for Subway Seats: In Tokyo, new technology matches expectant mothers looking for a seat with passengers willing to give theirs up.


Number of the Day: 144

That’s how many new skyscrapers (taller than 200 meters) were built in 2017. It’s a record for any single year—but 2018 is set to claim that title in short order.

An illustration of tallest new towers of 2017.
(Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat)

What We’re Reading

A Finnish autonomous car just drove in the snow, but it’s going to need a lot more sensors (Quartz)

Great, now millennials want selfies in their coffee... (Reuters)

...and even beavers are “gentrifying” now (New York Times)

Philadelphia’s “human bike lanes” and the slow roll to safety infrastructure (Next City)

How cuts to basic subway upkeep can ruin your commute (New York Times)


What’s going on in your neighborhood? Send stories, tips, and feedback to hello@citylab.com.

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