Transportation and more

images-1We were driving through East New York Brooklyn, a neighborhood that has not changed as much as other neighborhoods in BK over the past decade.  I noticed a few downtrodden buildings and homes for sale along the road beneath the subway tracks and began to wonder about the future of transportation.  In addition, the zoning of East New York was just changed this past week.

The industry of transportation is been changing dramatically over the past 5 years and we have seen the beginnings of a movement.  Certainly Tesla and Uber come to mind first.  People and companies have been working on electric cars since the late 1800’s but as time went on the technology behind batteries did not outweigh the low cost and simplicity of gas.  Times have changed.  Electric cars are the future, batteries taking in solar power to heat our homes, planes (just saw a historic flight this past week) could stop burning through fuel and using solar power in the future.  It is good for the environment yet it is super scary for the Middle East and people who bask in their oil reserves.

Uber essentially found a void that we did not even realize existed.  The ability to immediately hail a car to drive you from one place to the next through an app allowing drivers to make an income in cities across the globe using their phone as their business was genius.  There are plenty of others such as Lyft, Hailo and other ride-sharing apps and each of them has changed transportation.  You can easily get an “uber” in a city without ever having to drive which is a big bonus going out at night or not having to rent a car when you go to a new city.  We used uber the entire time we were in Minneapolis and never even considered renting a car.  There are a slew of other positives and there will be a shift in the industry just as technology changes any industry.

I was talking to the founder of Scoot who will have 1000 electric Scooters on the roads of SF sooner than later.  He has changed transportation too giving people access to a shared electric bike to get where they need without having to own a scooter.  Soon they will roll out to other cities.  In full transparency I am an investor in Scoot and believed in what they are building from day one.

Thinking out there 10, 20 years I was wondering about those rails overhead.  Will we see light rail that branches out to the farthest reaches of each city so transportation becomes so easy that you might not think about ever owning a car? Will we ever see upgrades of all the trains through out country that get people from place to place at a high speed so everyone can live somewhere that is well suited to their needs, their income and be able to get to work without hours of unbearable commuting?  Will we see more Scoots, more shared transportation, all electric cars, less overhead clunky rails that are eventually turned into great community spaces?

I can certainly say that transportation today will not look like transportation in 10 years.  Where it evolves and how quickly it happens is the only thing we can really wonder about.