Jul 10, 2018

Why Uber and others see a billion-dollar future in e-scooters

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On Monday, Uber announced a partnership with the electric scooter rental company Lime. Uber already owns Jump Bikes, an electric bike startup. Lyft just bought a bike rental company as well. All these moves are about creating one-stop shopping for…

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Why Uber and others see a billion-dollar future in e-scooters

Uber's recent investment in Lime scooters is part of a deal that values the company at $1.1 billion.
Electric scooters of the US company Lime are pictured on a sidewalk in Paris during their launching day on June 22, 2018. 
CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, Uber announced a partnership with the electric scooter rental company Lime. Uber already owns Jump Bikes, an electric bike startup. Lyft just bought a bike rental company as well. All these moves are about creating one-stop shopping for all kinds of transportation and also about solving a pretty basic problem. The average cab ride is less than three miles and using a car to make that trip is expensive and inefficient, especially in traffic. Hence this new investment trend in what’s being called micro-mobility. Ralph Buehler is a professor of urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech. He spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about what he refers to as multimodality.

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