Contents:

4 min read

    4 min read

    Right now, there’s a battle brewing between cities and mobility companies. The battle is over data, but what does data really mean and why is it important? Today’s podcast guest is the perfect person to talk to about how data affects mobility, both for the tech companies running the services and for the cities who have to deal with these services.

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    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

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    Intro

    • Today I’m chatting with David Zipper all about data and new mobility services
    • David has an interesting background, having spent time working in a city and for the mayor’s office before moving over to the start up side of things
    • In this episode, we’ll be talking about the current state of data, the ‘walled gardens’ Uber and Lyft are building and more
    • Check out our latest sponsor: LISNR! LISNR makes safety for both drivers and passengers “dummy proof”
    • LISNR makes it easier for drivers and passengers to locate and authenticate one another and is providing safety for drivers and TNCs like Uber and Lyft

    Interview with David Zipper

    • David’s perspective on cities and urban mobility is rooted in his experience working within City Hall as well as being a venture capitalist policy researcher and startup advocate
    • David advises numerous startups, mayors and transit agencies about the future of urban mobility
    • David is a “cities guy” – first big project was in Philadelphia
    • Worked in the Bloomberg administration in New York and worked on strategy for mayors in DC
    • Moved into startups and became partner at a VC firm

    Current State of Data and Mobility Companies

    • People talk about data like it’s the ‘new oil’ – nice catchphrase, but data and mobility are more than that
    • Cities are getting wiser about data, and getting wiser to mobility companies
    • Scooters more likely to be a net positive for cities, unlike rideshare companies
    • Rideshare was a disruptive technology – but it really was just more cars on the streets
    • Scooters/bikes truly disruptive – how do they factor in to sidewalks, special lanes, etc.?

    Why is Data So Important to Cities, Companies?

    • Data isn’t the be all, end all, but it can inform better public policy
    • Data can help cities identify drop off zones, bike lanes, traffic patterns
    • MDS – Mobility Data Specification – becoming the standard for data sharing between cities and companies
    • Data collection that helps cities understand all of the shared mobility services that could emerge in the future

    Walled Gardens and Data

    • Business technology term – ex. Apple and the App Store – when searching for an app, Apple elevates certain apps and pushes down ones it doesn’t like or think are appropriate for whatever reason
    • Gives Apple a ton of power to elevate or push down certain apps, companies
    • Pull up your Uber app, and Uber is expanding to show you different services beyond just UberX, XL, etc.
    • Each app will have their own ‘walled garden’ and users will have to use several different apps just to figure out which one is the best option for them
    • Uber could decide to elevate what’s most profitable for them – dangerous to give one company control over all options

    How Can Cities Leverage Data?

    • Finland could serve as a model – passed a law requiring all providers of transportation to put a realtime availability of vehicles, trip planning information
    • In the US, there needs to be state level legislation if not national involvement
    • Given Uber/Lyft’s success to preempt local laws they don’t like, it’s hard to put faith in most state legislatures to regulate this

    Outro

    • Big thanks to David for coming on the podcast and sharing his thoughts on data with us
    • Be sure to take a look at the links below if you want to learn more about data, MDS, or the other topics he mentioned
    • Check out our latest sponsor: LISNR! LISNR makes safety for both drivers and passengers “dummy proof”
    • LISNR makes it easier for drivers and passengers to locate and authenticate one another and is providing safety for drivers and TNCs like Uber and Lyft

    Show Notes

    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.

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