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Growth of on-demand mobility comes at the cost of public transport and marginalized people (Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

Ever since Uber came up with its on-demand cab-hailing concept a decade ago, there has been an explosion of interest in new-age mobility systems that has grown to include new forms of mobility squeezed through new business models. According to estimates, Uber and Lyft cars for hire made more passenger trips than the U.S.’s total city bus fleet did. 

Studies have shown that internet cab-hailing companies have worsened traffic situations in urban spaces. In San Francisco, one in every five vehicles on the road represents an Uber or Lyft, with these companies responsible for roughly half of all new cars in the city since 2010. 

However, these last-mile mobility businesses often trample on the interests of city-run public transit systems. Uber and Lyft have taken millions of public transit users out of the system and put them in cabs, thereby reducing income and commuter count for public networks. This causes the city to cut lines and transit frequency, further building on to the existing problem. The growth of companies like Uber and Lyft is particularly hard on the financially less secure population, as declining patronage of city transit systems will only worsen their upkeep, and reduce transit possibilities of those most dependent on the systems. 

Did you know?

Rents for warehouses between 70,000 and 120,000 square feet rose by more than one-third over the past five years and more than twice as fast as the leasing costs for big distribution centers, said the CBRE Group in its report


“In the U.S., we’ve only been on the market since 2019, but have already replaced 12 million eggs with our herbal alternative. In five years we want to supply 10% of the global fresh eggs market with our vegan egg.”

– Matt Riley, global sales director of vegan egg startup Just, commenting on the growth of the alternative meat and poultry industry in the U.S.

In other news

Oil prices dip despite latest U.S.-China trade talks

Global benchmark Brent crude futures fell by 37 cents, or 0.6%, to $57.95 a barrel. (CNBC)

India pursues China-led trade deal despite domestic opposition

India is pressing ahead with talks to join a China-led free trade pact, despite some domestic producers’ concerns that the country could be flooded with cheaper Chinese imports. (Reuters)

New cocoa-pricing method makes for a hot commodity

Rally is driven by uncertainty over a plan designed to aid farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast. (The Wall Street Journal)

Cosco Dalian’s oil tankers switch off tracers after U.S. sanctions imposed, data shows

Fourteen of the Chinese company’s 43 vessels turned off ship-tracking transponders from September 30 to October 7. (South China Morning Post)

Waymo to customers: “Completely driverless Waymo cars are on the way”

Self-driving startup Waymo sent an email to customers of its ride-hailing app that their next trip might not have a human safety driver behind the wheel. (TechCrunch)

Final Thoughts

OPEC has cut its forecast for oil demand for the third consecutive month after it saw weaker demand coming through from the Asia Pacific region and North America. The OPEC countries will chair a meeting in Vienna this December, and the continued weakening of demand might be a reason for the consortium to look at production cuts to strengthen the falling oil prices. 

This happens at a time when global trade disruptions loom at the corner. Brexit is but a few weeks away and with no tangible deal in sight, the U.K. might be heading for a no-deal Brexit, disrupting trade flow in the European region. On the other end of the spectrum, the trade spat between the U.S. and China continues unabated, with trade talks scheduled between the two countries today – the results of which will reflect on oil demand. 

Hammer down everyone!