Why Escooters Could Help Decide Rules for Data Sharing and Equitable Mobility

Escooter partnerships could set precedents for data sharing and access before things like self-driving cars and delivery drones swoop into town.

You might think they’re just for cruising or quick commutes, but escooters represent what the so-called smart city tech industry and city governments refer to as new mobility. The reintroduction of escooters in Portland, OR, where RedTail’s Kate Kaye lives, is part of a bigger puzzle that Smart City PDX, the city’s centralized hub overseeing emerging tech projects for transportation and infrastructure, hopes will result not only in less traffic congestion and cleaner air, but more equitable and inclusionary travel options throughout the city.

Meanwhile, burned after being caught off guard by Uber and Lyft in the ride-sharing arena, cities are looking at escooter partnerships as ways to level the playing field when it comes to data sharing and access before things like self-driving cars and delivery drones swoop into town.

Kate reported recently for Portland’s XRAY.fm and Geekwire about the implications of the city’s second escooter pilot when it comes to equitable mobility, data policy and governance issues. Check out Kate’s XRAY and Geekwire coverage.

About Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia journalist who has chronicled the evolution of digital media, data use and technology in her reporting for more than 20 years for outlets including Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, OneZero, CityLab, NPR and Advertising Age. One of the first journalists to track how political organizations use voter data and digital advertising (as early as 2002), she is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a 2009 book covering the digital targeting efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns.

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