An Appreciation of Popularity

The correlation between popularity and quality is tenuous at best. How often have excellent products died in the marketplace, while competing products of lesser quality have succeeded (I'm thinking Betamax, Kodak, and TiVo, to name a few)? How often, too, have movie stars achieved enormous popular success despite possessing little in the way of acting ability (my apologies to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone)? Popularity isn't …

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American Cities’ Biggest Transportation Innovation is Decidedly Low-Tech

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] American cities are adding bus and bike lanes, implementing bikeshare systems, and creating public plazas and miniature parks at a rapid pace. Urban streets, long the domain of automobiles, are increasingly being reclaimed by and for the people, a change that amounts to the biggest transportation innovation in recent …

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What Would Make Your Commute Better?

Jeff Bezos' $250 million purchase of The Washington Post in 2014 changed the direction of the newspaper in some fairly significant ways. Among them: The Posts's focus became less local and more global, it began expanding digital access dramatically (promoted by the Kindle, of course), and started spending some serious cash on events. One of these events is the America Answers series. Begun in …

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Uber’s Plan for Self-Driving Cars Will Make its Taxi Disruption Look Quaint by Comparison

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab. Reprinted by GovTech.] Uber has fundamentally changed the taxi industry. But its biggest disruption may be yet to come. The ride-hailing company has invested in autonomous-vehicle research, and its CEO Travis Kalanick (pictured above) has indicated that consumers can expect a driverless Uber fleet by 2030. Uber expects its service …

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D.C. Entrepreneurs Still Focused on Transportation

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] Washington D.C.-based shared-ride company Split was one of two transportation startups who participated in the Tech.Co Startup Competition last month, showing that Washington remains a prolific incubator of transportation-related startups, and that entrepreneurs believe there are additional transportation problems that need solving. Split, which has been operational since May of …

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D.C. Housing May be Less Expensive than the Suburbs

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] The conventional wisdom is that living in the city is much more expensive than living outside of it. Taxes, entertainment, and groceries all add up to a slightly higher cost of living in the city. Housing, though, is the expense that tips the scales decidedly in favor of the …

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Gridlock: Not Just for Washington D.C. Politics

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] File this one under “lists you don’t want to appear on.” Consumer finance website NerdWallet has released a list of the top 10 Worst Cities for Car Drivers. Washington D.C., number two on the list, proves once again that the term “gridlock” doesn’t just apply to the city’s politics. …

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