Brian Rosenthal at the NYTimes uncovers a Taxi Medallion Ponzi scheme while investigating why anyone would pay $1 million to drive a yellow cab? LINK
Here are five takeaways from Mr. Rosenthal’s investigation. LINK
- Uber and Lyft did not cause the crisis in New York City’s yellow taxi industry.
- Taxi industry leaders artificially inflated the price of taxi medallions.
- Taxi industry leaders steered drivers into reckless loans.
- Lenders protected themselves by selling those loans.
- Officials ignored years of warning signs.
Following the NYTimes investigation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is requesting a review of the regulation of credit unions in the taxi industry. LINK
- SIGHTING: Senate Chuck Schumer and taxi tycoon Andrew Murstein, who made millions financing medallions to low-income immigrants, traipsing up four flights of stairs at ’21’ to meet Gov. Mario Cuomo.LINK
- FLASHBACK:Taxi tycoon Andrew Murstein throws his kid an epic bar mitzvah with a private Nicki Minaj concert LINK
Leak reveals Uber’s $9.99 unlimited delivery Eats Pass. LINK
46% of people who ordered Uber Eats in the US also ordered from one or more of its competitors. The company’s customers aren’t very loyal, so Uber is slashing prices. It’s a race to the bottom folks. LINK
- FLASHBACK: 34% of people who ride Uber in the US also take rides from one or more of its competitors. Customers are shopping between the two ride-hail leaders and taking the ride at a better price. LINK
Ola drops most of the restaurants from its Food Delivery App Foodpanda to focus on in-house private label brands or cloud kitchens. Ola has terminated contracts of most of its 1,500 food delivery partners and laid off about 40 people. LINK
- FLASHBACK: Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is partnering with Zhang Yanqi, former COO at Ofo, to launch cloud kitchens (Dubbed the kitchen version of WeWork) in China. LINK
Ford and startup Agility Robotics are partnering in a research project that will test how two-legged robots and self-driving vehicles can work together to solve that curb-to-door problem. #youseeingthisshit” LINK
Spotify’s first hardware is a voice-controlled device for your car. Dubbed “Car Thing,” Spotify says it doesn’t have plans for a specific in-car device, but the company is hoping to learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts. LINK
Maven, the GM car-rental service, is being shut down in about half of its North American markets. The company wouldn’t say where Maven will continue to operate, but it confirmed that it’s pulling out of New York and Chicago. LINK
- FLASHBACK: Julia Steyn, the head of General Motors’ car-sharing service, plans to rent lawnmowers on Maven. LINK
- FLASHBACK: Julia Steyn, the head of General Motors’ car-sharing service, has left Maven. LINK
Apple’s “Project Titan” lives on, as the company is reportedly building large drive rooms in California for continued testing, and developing advanced battery technology. LINK
Cargo, the New York-based start-up that brings the convenience store into ride-hailing vehicles, is making its first international expansion through an exclusive partnership with Uber in Brazil. Uber drivers in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will now be able to sign up for Cargo and potentially earn additional income by selling products to passengers during their ride. LINK
The 2nd best cycling hack ever is a $2 pool noodle. It creates a kind of shoulder to shield bike riders from passing cars. In 1st place … baseball card in the spokes. LINK