DNC week: On Friday, August 21 Axios Chief Technology Correspondent Ina Fried hosted an event on the future of how people get around in the era of COVID-19, featuring Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Ravinder Bhalla.
Mayor Bhalla discussed Hoboken's expansion of its bike-share program. Partnering with Citi Bike, residents will be able to commute to Manhattan and Jersey City without having to change e-bike systems.
- On the city's dependence on mass transit: "Hoboken has the highest population of residents that rely on mass transit to commute to-and-from work every day in the country. That creates a real challenge for us,"
- On strategizing how to make the commute as quick as possible: "We thought the most logical way to be more efficient...is to view these city borders as really artificial because it takes a 10-minute bike ride to get to NYC."
Rep. Butterfield discussed the need to prioritize public transportation for the economy to fully recover from the pandemic.
- On the importance of equitable, accessible transportation: "If we don't have a robust transportation system, then we are not going to have a robust economy."
- On autonomous vehicles: "The American people are not fully informed about autonomous vehicles and so we've got to wage a comprehensive campaign to educate the American people what it is and what it is not...Autonomous vehicles are safe, it's the future of transportation."
Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with
Lyft Chief Policy Officer Anthony Foxx, and discussed the Lyft workforce, legislation in California, and the future of rideshare platforms.
- "The reality is that the vast majority of our workers do not want to be employees...We've asked them & 71% prefer freedom of being independent contractors to the benefits of employment...What they really want is independence and benefits."
Thank you Lyft for sponsoring this event.