I decided to combine and conquer by renting a car for a day. Bad choice. On top of the inconvenience of getting out to the airport and back and forth downriver to the repair shop, this made for a real mess of my transportation spend for the week. Needing to track all of this data left me wondering — what is the right way to talk about the cost of a car trip?
As the two student teams each took turns standing in front of the white board covered with hastily scrawled notes ranging from “connect, movement, service, devices, automate” to “How are you going to sell your product?” it was clear that the class was excited to pitch its ideas. Two completely new company concepts were hatched in the preceding hour, and everyone in the room had participated in that process. Meanwhile, I found myself breathing a sigh of relief that the group exercise had actually worked!
Mobility of another kind has been top of mind for me over the past few weeks. My sister and I recently spent a weekend in Arizona helping move my dad out of his house into an assisted living community because he has Parkinson’s Disease and can no longer live alone. As she and I carried boxes and hauled consignments and household donations around in our rental car, I couldn’t help but be struck by the built environment and what it means for how people there get around.
When I managed parking for Zipcar in San Francisco, some of my favorite partners were gas station owners. They were often characters in their own right who loved to chat and worked hard as independent operators running a station or two with their families. It turns out, Nick, Raj, Evelyn, Hassan, and Sam were representative of most of the country’s gas station owners.
From groundbreaking announcements to the growing availability of odd, scooter-like devices that we insist on calling hoverboards even though they don’t fly, this week’s news continued to be chock full of mobility updates of all shapes and sizes. Here are a few of my favorites.