Scooter companies, seeking to shape regulations, hire transit advocates

Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, who helped spearhead federal autonomous vehicle regulations and the Smart City Challenge, would be a good get for any aspiring transit startup.

In a recent Medium post announcing his new job as chief policy officer at Lyft, Foxx demonstrated why, as he discussed technology’s potential to transform how we get around, as well as the power of transit to change the lives of everyday Americans.

“How much more discretionary money might my family have had if we never owned a car—if there had been a way to pay for the trips they needed instead of the car itself?” he wrote, explaining how his own family could have benefitted from a more affordable way to get around their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Foxx’s move comes at an important junction for Lyft, which is making a big push to promote more sustainable and multimodal transit, having recently purchased the nation’s biggest bike share operator and expanded its fleet to include scooters and e-bikes.

Lyft’s shift comes during an equally transformative moment for micromobility in general. As scooter startups like Bird and Lime, valued in the billions, continue to expand, and established ridehailing firms like Uber and Lyft introduce their own scooter options, the growth imperatives of venture capital will continue to butt up against local governments. So, transit startups are looking for employees with government and nonprofit experience to help work with cities and shape policy.

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