The Station: Cruise cuts, Waymo snags more cash, and a VC Mobility survey

The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click The Station — to receive it every Saturday in your inbox.
Hi and welcome back to The Station, I’m your host Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. If you’re interested in all the future and present ways people and packages move from Point A to Point B, you’re in the right place.
It felt like Tesla dominated the news cycle once again this week. (Checks list of published articles) And yep, it sure did. There was other mobility news though, including layoffs at self-driving company Cruise and new rules that Uber is rolling out Monday that will change the ride-hailing experience for the foreseeable future.
Reach out and email me at to share thoughts, criticisms, offer up opinions or tips. You can also send a direct message to me at Twitter — @kirstenkorosec.
Shall we get down to it? Vamos.


The Station: Cruise cuts, Waymo snags more cash, and a VC Mobility survey

The micromobbin’ space got more crowded this week as Bolt announced it would launch an electric scooter service in more than 45 cities this summer. Bolt, a big competitor to Uber in Europe and Africa, has raised more than $200 million from investors like Daimler and Didi Chuxing.
Meanwhile, Bird, Lime, Voi and Tier are reportedly in talks with local authorities in the U.K. to launch electric scooter trials as early as next month. The U.K. originally planned to start allowing companies to operate next year, but that timeline has been pushed up amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Over in the land of e-bikes … The National Park Service has proposed revisions to rules regarding e-bike use on federal lands. The proposal is open for public comment until June 8, 2020.
The proposed regulations, which you should check out here, would exclude e-bikes from the definition of motor vehicle. Park superintendents would have the authority to open up paths and roads designated for bicycles to e-bikes.
There are conditions. Ultimately, the authority will rest with that particular superintendent, which means this is not an e-bike free-for-all in national parks. E-bike riders will have to pedal — no throttle only — in non-motorized areas and they would still be prohibited in designated wilderness areas.
PeopleForBikes, a non-profit organization and bicycle advocacy group, has loads more information on the proposed rulemaking.
Speaking of e-bikes, these modes of transportation are poised to be big winners this year. We’ve highlighted some of the companies that have already seen gains since the  COVID-19 pandemic. This week, a pair of stories provide some insight into this trend. Bloomberg focused on Specialized Bike Components Inc and The Verge did a deep dive into the broader e-bikes industry. One snippet from The Verge article gives you some idea of how things are shaping up for e-bike companies: Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes said its sales in April increased a whopping 297% year over year; its sales to business customers in the delivery sector also rose 191% from March to April this year.
It’s not e-bike boom times for everyone though. The Verge reported that GM killed off its first electric bike called ARIV.
 — Megan Rose Dickey and Kirsten Korosec

Deal of the week

The Station: Cruise cuts, Waymo snags more cash, and a VC Mobility survey

Deals — they are slim, but they’re still happenin’.
It seems like just yesterday that Waymo announced it had raised $2.25 billion — its first external investment — in a round led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Mubadala Investment Company. Magna, Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation and its parent company Alphabet also participated.
But what’s this? A mere two months later Waymo is back. The autonomous vehicle company said it has added another $750 million to the round, bringing the total size of the financing to $3 billion. The extension comes from new investors, including those managed by T. Rowe Price, Perry Creek Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company and others. Side note: T. Rowe Price is also a major backer of rival Cruise.
Other deals:
Uber approached Grubhub in February with an all-stock takeover offer and the companies have been in talks since then, according to the WSJ, which broke the story. Grubhub proposed Uber pay 2.15 of its shares for each Grubhub share. Uber didn’t bite and now discussions are aimed at a lower price.
TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm unpacks the deal in terms of its cost and explains why Uber has to pay in stock, how large a combined Uber Eats/Grubhub entity would be compared to its competition and why adjusted EBITDA helps us understand how this acquisition could give Uber’s bottom line a shot in the arm.

A Grubhub-Uber tie-up would remake the food delivery landscape
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