Also: Hate-watching “House Hunters,” and a teen city council that doesn’t mess around.
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What We’re Following
Rolling in the green: We told you little vehicles were going to be big business, and now Uber is buying in even more. Bloomberg reports the company is joining Google Ventures in a $335 million funding round for the scooter- and bike-sharing company Lime. The move comes just a week after Lyft bought Motivate, which operates docked bikeshare systems in some of the largest cities in the United States. Uber already lets users find Jump’s dockless e-bikes in the app, and plans to do the same for Lime’s rental scooters, accelerating the venture-capital-boosted race to the curb.
As ride-hailing companies embrace multimodal mobility, “dockless” vehicles are not without their detractors. Last week, Milwaukee announced a lawsuit against the scooter company Bird, which is run by a one-time Uber executive (Milwaukee Biz Times). Still, there are promising signs that tech companies now see value in a variety of transportation options, and we might yet see people get out of their cars and reconnect with city streets (New York Times).
- $2 billion: Bird’s latest valuation
- $1.1 billion: Lime’s valuation after Uber’s investment
- $250 million: What Lyft paid for Motivate
More on CityLab
One Nation, Undercount
With a highly contested citizenship question planned for the next Census, vulnerable communities are bracing to be undercounted in 2020. But the history of manipulating the Census goes as far back as the Articles of Confederation.
The Census as a tool for representative democracy seems simple enough: count the people and apportion power to represent them. But making the count an inherently political machine has made it possible to exploit, especially as the ever-shifting concept of race began to evolve, and as people moved from rural to urban America. On CityLab, visual storyteller Ariel Aberg-Riger draws the throughline on this all-too-familiar story with A Visual History of the U.S. Census.
What We’re Reading
No, “drunk walking” is not causing the rise in pedestrian deaths (Streetsblog)
Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu may or may not run for President (Politico)
Starbucks will say goodbye to plastic straws in 2020 (NPR)
Our cities are getting hotter—and it’s killing people (Curbed)
Please LeBron, don’t try to ride your bike to work in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times)