Delivery workers and e-bikes are a perfect combination: This program is putting them together

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In hilly São Paulo, food delivery is done by polluting motorbike. A major food delivery app is working with a micromobility company to get the drivers on e-bikes instead. If you order food delivery in São Paulo, Brazil, it will probably show up on a motorcycle—one contributor to the city’s serious air pollution problem. But inside a storefront in the city’s Pinheiros neighborhood, a new pilot is offering couriers the opportunity to use electric bikes instead, without needing enough money to buy one up front. Read Full Story

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E-bike too pricey? Subscribe to one instead

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Dance, from the founders of SoundCloud, is giving Berliners their own e-bike for $82 a month. We’re in the midst of an e-bike boom, particularly in Europe. More than 3 million electric bikes were sold across the EU in 2019 . Even during the pandemic, when overall VC funding is down , e-bike manufacturers have raised millions to capitalize on the growing demand for electric bikes. But one company, called Dance , isn’t betting on a future where everyone buys an e-bike. It’s offering an e-bike subscription service, instead. Read Full Story

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This new delivery service cuts down on takeout waste by sending your food in reusable packaging

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Just give your old ones to the driver when your next order arrives. If you order from DeliverZero, a third party delivery service in New York City, your food will look different than the usual pile of plastic containers: instead, it will come in reusable clamshells. Then, the next time you order takeout from the platform, you can hand over those containers to the delivery driver and they’ll be returned to a participating restaurant, washed, and reused for another delivery. Read Full Story

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It took a pandemic to halt NYC’s unfair crackdown on delivery workers’ e-bikes

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As COVID-1- ravages New York City, delivery workers are zipping through near-empty streets on a mysterious brand of cheap, illegal e-bikes. COVID-19 has emptied New York City’s streets. Residents are sheltering in place. The city has limited restaurants and cafes to do takeout and for delivery only, putting delivery workers on the front lines of the effort to contain the virus. Recognizing this fact, two New York City councilmen urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to stop the “crack down on the technology they are using to keep us fed.” Read Full Story

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Here’s what Facebook is doing to ramp up groups (and fight their misuse)

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At their best, groups are one of Facebook’s biggest assets. At their worst, they’re a problem for society. I’m not sure when it happened. But at some point in the last couple of years, my use of Facebook in its most familiar form—posting on my wall and those of other members—has dwindled. Instead, I spend most of my time in Facebook groups devoted to a variety of my interests, from old cartoons to e-bikes. Read Full Story

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How joining the e-bike revolution made my 2020 a lot more bearable

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Instead of feeling trapped at home, I’ve been enjoying the great outdoors more than ever—even when pedaling up the scariest hills in town. Last March, when the COVID-19 pandemic first disrupted everything, it took me a while to notice that my new lifestyle was one of extreme lethargy. With local businesses shuttered, activities canceled, and a second bedroom serving as my office, the amount of exercise I got on a typical day dwindled to a few hundred steps. Shuffling off to the kitchen for a snack started to feel like a workout. Read Full Story

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Ridepanda wants to help you pick the exact right e-bike

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Ready to make the plunge into electric bikes? The site lets you fill out a questionnaire and then get recommendations for the perfect ride to suit your needs. Electric bike ownership is poised to skyrocket in the coming years, with more than 130 million e-bikes expected to sell globally between 2020 and 2023 alone. A new website called Ridepanda wants to help you pick your perfect e-ride—whether you need a motor powerful enough to speed up hills or a mile range that’ll get you to work and back on one charge—by curating e-bikes based on need and giving each option an expert rating. Read Full Story

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Urban tech is a $65 billion industry. Here’s how COVID-19 could upend it

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In the wake of COVID-19, digital technology will play a crucial role in determining which cities thrive—and which ones falter. The COVID-19 crisis has upended urban life as we know it. Cities are on lockdown, and the once bustling streets of Paris, New York, London, Rome, and more now sit virtually empty. Technology has been critical to the way cities and society have coped with the crisis. Online delivery companies have been essential for getting food and supplies to residents, while their restaurant delivery counterparts have helped keep restaurants up and running during the lockdown. Urban informatics has helped track the virus and identify infection hot spots . In the not-too-distant future, as cities begin to reopen , digital technology will be needed to better test and trace the virus as well as to ready urban infrastructure, like airports, public transportation, office buildings, and businesses, to open back up safely …

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Cars have run their course in U.S. cities. Here’s what’s next

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“Cars are guests.” And they’re no longer welcome. Sticking closer to home because of COVID-19 has shown many people what cities can be like with less traffic, noise, congestion, and pollution. Roads and parking lots devoted to cars take up a lot of land . For example, in Phoenix, Los Angeles , and New York City , these spaces account for over one-third of each city’s total area. Read Full Story

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Instead of police randomly enforcing traffic laws, cameras and smart design could make safer streets

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Part of reallocating police budgets could involve taking the bias out of traffic stops and instead doing real work to change our streets. In New York City, police issue more criminal summonses for cycling on the sidewalk in Black and Latino neighborhoods than in white ones. Those neighborhoods, it turns out, tend to lack protected bike lanes, and research has shown that when a protected bike lane is available, the prevalence of sidewalk cycling plummets by as much as 94%. What if the money spent on that sort of policing was used instead to build safe bicycling infrastructure, so people didn’t feel like it was necessary to ride on the sidewalk in the first place? Read Full Story

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