Mobility Companies All Over the PPP Recipients' List

The transportation industry has been promising high-tech innovations for years, and has attracted a lot of big time investment dollars along the way. But it looks like some of them are struggling during the pandemic anyway.

1 minute read

July 7, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Electric Scooters

cendhika / Shutterstock

"Bird was among the names of companies that got small business loans over $150,000 released today by the Treasury Department after lawmakers pushed for greater transparency," reports Andrew J. Hawkins. "In addition to the scooter startup, there are a number of prominent autonomous vehicle firms, LIDAR makers, and other “mobility” companies on the list."

The inclusion of Bird is particularly noteworthy because despite receiving between $5 million and $10 million in April to retain 341 jobs, the company laid off 400 employees less than a month later. 

The article also lists the other transportation companies that received the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in April, including Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, explained by Hawkins as a "a California-based company that sprang up to deliver on Elon Musk’s 2013 transportation vision." That company received a loan in the range of $150,000 to $350,000 to retain 15 jobs.

Hawkins updated the story on Twitter throughout the day yesterday, noting that a Bird spokesperson denied that the company had requested, or received, the federal aid. Hawkins's efforts to confirm that denial. All documented on Twitter, raise some troubling questions about the entire process.

Monday, July 6, 2020 in The Verge

Rendering of electric scooters, electric cars, light rail train, and apartments in background.

Arizona’s ‘Car-Free’ Community Takes Shape

Culdesac Tempe has been welcoming residents since last year.

February 14, 2024 - The Cool Down

Aerial view of New York City architecture with augmented reality visualization, blue digital holograms over buildings and skyscrapers

4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design

With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.

February 20, 2024 - ArchDaily

"It's The Climate" sign over street in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Oregon Town Seeks Funding for Ambitious Resilience Plan

Like other rural communities, Grants Pass is eager to access federal funding aimed at sustainability initiatives, but faces challenges when it comes to meeting grant requirements.

February 18, 2024 - The Daily Yonder

Close-up of bottom half of stroller being pushed onto sidewalk with no curb cut by person in jeans and brown shoes.

How Infrastructure Communicates Values

The presence and quality of sidewalks, curb cuts, and other basic elements of infrastructure can speak to much more than just economic decisions.

2 hours ago - Strong Towns

Greyhound and Amtrak buses at a temporary bus terminal in San Francisco, California.

Despite High Ridership, Intercity Bus Lines Are Eliminating Stations

Riders on the ‘forgotten stepchild’ of the U.S. transportation system find themselves waiting for buses curbside as Greyhound sells off its real estate in many U.S. cities.

3 hours ago - Governing

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo Residents Push Back on Proposed Cap Park

State and local officials say the $1 billion project will heal neighborhoods divided by the Kensington Expressway, but community members say the proposed plan will exacerbate already poor air quality in the area.

4 hours ago - Bloomberg CityLab

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

The Walkable City

Harvard GSD Executive Education

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.