Mobility-as-a-Service Providers Disappear Along With Public Transit During Protests

Mobility-as-a-service companies have disappeared when essential workers needed them most, falling short of their promoted role as gap fillers.

1 minute read

June 7, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Protestors lit electric scooters and bikes on fire during a protest in Paris in December 2019. | Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock

According to Susie Cagle, public transit systems weren't the only mobility services leaving people stranded during protests and curfews in the past few weeks.

As cities across the country institute a variety of fast-changing curfews in response to protests, they are also cutting back or completely shutting down the public transit countless individuals use each night to make their way home and to work. Even private transportation services like ride shares, which have long advertised themselves as transit solutions by shoring up urban transit and making cities safer and more convenient, are temporarily shuttering.

Private transit companies are complying with shutdown orders in cities, according to Cagle, or even voluntarily suspending service, leaving essential workers without options for getting home and exposing them to the risk of being harassed or even arrested on the way home.

"These are all services that were pitched as making urban transportation more robust, cities more accessible, and residents safer," writes Cagle. "Once hailed as alternatives to the financial burden of private vehicle ownership without giving up safe and consistent mobility, the curfew has revealed that these transportation solutions are only as capable as the municipalities they operate in."

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