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Inside Transportation (Aug 13th, 2019)

Hi all, 

I'm a few weeks into our Inside Transportation newsletter and I want to see how you're all feeling about it. What else would you like to see covered? Where do you think we fall short, or is there anything you like? Hit reply and let me know! 

Thank you, 

Johan

1. Uber stock hit an all-time low today. The ride-hailing company experienced a hit after reporting its Q2 earnings last Thursday, which some considered disappointing. The stock hit $36.12 this morning, beating a previous low of $37.00, which was set yesterday. Before that, the stock price’s previous low was $37.10 and was set on May 13, when the stock market had a bad day overall amid trade war escalations. The company reported its largest-ever quarterly loss of $5 billion last week, while also reporting its slowest-ever revenue growth. — THE STREET

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2. Lime integration with Google Maps is going live for Android users today. Users will be able to track down Lime scooters in their area within the Google Maps app. Last year, the scooter sharing company launched a partnership with Google Maps, after Google's parent company, Alphabet, made an investment in Lime. After testing the functionality in 13 cities, the integration will now be expanded to over 100 markets, which should cover most of the U.S. markets Lime operates in. iOS support will be added later this month. — GEEKWIRE

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3. Major providers of navigation apps have yet to add railroad crossings to their platforms, despite a plea from federal regulators. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that Google, Apple and Microsoft add information about railroad crossings to their apps in 2016. Almost three years after the request, the companies have yet to add the features to their apps. Google said it remained “aware” of the recommendation, while Apple and Microsoft did not respond to requests for comment. — POLITICO

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4. A Tesla owner implanted her Model 3 keycard’s RFID tag into her arm. Software engineer Amie DD had already implanted a RFID tag into her arm years ago, which she used to open her home’s door. She initially thought she could reprogram the same RFID tag to open her car’s door. DD failed to reprogram that tag, but was able to remove the tag from her car's keycard and put it in her arm. You can watch the video of her process here. — THE VERGE

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5. Lyft has confirmed it will launch ride-hailing services in Vancouver. The company currently only offers ride-hailing services in one international market outside of the U.S. — Toronto — although it maintains a presence in Germany through an autonomous driving research lab. This comes after the British Columbia government opened the door for ride-hailing companies to operate in the Canadian province, but Lyft will face competition from a home-grown company, Kater. It is unclear if Uber will operate in the province. — VANCOUVER SUN

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6. Groups tied to the Koch Brothers are funding Proposition 105, an initiative to halt planned extensions of a light rail system in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2015, voters approved Transportation 2050, a sales tax measure that would add 42 miles of light rail lines, bus rapid transit and new metro stations, marking the first time in 20 years voters had approved to expand city's public transit system. Prop. 105 is backed by various groups, including Americans for Prosperity, which is directly linked to oil barons Charles and David Koch. The initiative would redirect public transit-related tax dollars to road construction. — CITY LAB

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7. An analysis shows the expenses of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) exceed revenues and will continue to do so. Alix Partners took an 11-week deep dive into the agency’s finances, seeing that the agency spends about $40 million per day operating the system, with expenses exceeding revenue for the past three years. As a result, MTA has been dipping into a pool of unrestricted capital funds to bridge the gap. The agency also said there would be no end in sight to this deficit, amid necessary expansions and repairs of the system. — GOTHAMIST

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8. A movement is growing in Salt Lake City to offer free public transit. Two of eight of the city’s mayoral candidates have pledged to eliminate transit fares, in an effort to combat pollution, while others have said they would consider the idea. A poll conducted by the University of Utah and the Salt Lake Tribune found that 71 percent of local voters support an elimination of public transit fares. — STREETS BLOG

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9. Uber is ending service at a Los Angeles-area airport because of fee increases. The company says it will end drop-offs and pickups from the Ontario International Airport, which is about 38 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. The airport increased rates for Uber and Lyft by $1, to $4, for each pickup and drop-off. LAX charges $4 for each pickup and drop-off. — LA TIMES

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10. On Reddit, one user of the /r/transit subreddit asked for recommendations on how to learn about transit systems. /u/thebestgayIcanbe asked for textbooks and industry journals related to transit systems, specifically related to public buses. Among the recommendations in the subreddit included “Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit” by Christof Spieler, and resources from the American Public Transportation Association. Any suggestions? Drop them in the Reddit thread here. — REDDIT

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This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of Los Angeles, CA and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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