Lyft Is Beating Its Financial Goals But Faces Long Road to Profitability

Lyft Is Beating Its Financial Goals But Faces Long Road to Profitability

http://ift.tt/2qkq7Dz

JD Lasica  / Flickr

Lyft is growing faster than expected, but isn’t profitable yet. Lyft co-founders John Zimmer, left, and Logan Green speaking in 2013. JD Lasica / Flickr

Skift Take: Lyft’s growth shows that Uber still hasn’t locked up the U.S. ridesharing market. The #DeleteUber backlash has certainly contributed to Lyft’s gains.

— Andrew Sheivachman

Lyft Inc.’s bookings and ridership surged in the first quarter, suggesting the company benefited from user defections and management turmoil at larger rival Uber Technologies Inc.

Lyft also told investors in fundraising documents obtained by Bloomberg that it was beating internal growth targets, an encouraging sign for the No. 2 U.S. ride-hailing company.

Even so, the startup has a long way to go to meet its goal of profitability by 2018, with first-quarter losses easily topping $100 million.

In April, Lyft said it closed a $600 million round of financing, valuing the company at $7.5 billion. Though it’s been quiet about the timing of an initial public offering, new Lyft investors, like private equity firm KKR & Co. and asset manager Baillie Gifford, generally expect the private companies they back to go public within a few years.

“Lyft had an incredible first quarter as we continued to focus on providing a better and better experience for our drivers and passengers,” a spokesman wrote in an email.  “We gained market share and set ridership records across the entire U.S.” He declined to comment further.

The company told prospective investors last month it expected $800 million in first-quarter gross bookings, more than double the same period a year ago, according to the fundraising documents.

Lyft, which only operates in the U.S., has used Uber’s many public missteps this year as an opportunity to try to catch up. After the hashtag #DeleteUber trended on Twitter in January and hundreds of thousands of people uninstalled Uber’s app, Lyft reached 22.8 million monthly rides in February, up 137 percent from the same month a year ago, according to the fundraising documents.

As Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick faced criticism for joining President Donald Trump’s business advisory board, Lyft said it would donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Uber and Lyft are in a fierce fight for market share in the U.S. The two privately held companies have spent hundreds of millions on discounts for passengers and bonuses for drivers. Both companies have told investors this year they want to cut costs. Last year, Uber, lost $2.8 billion, while Lyft lost $600 million, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Lyft said it would lose $130 million in the first quarter of 2017, according to the documents, which were prepared before the period ended. That compares with a loss of more than $150 million in the final quarter of 2016, as reported by tech news site The Information.

Lyft is still far behind Uber, based on gross bookings, or the total value of fares drivers collect, excluding tips and tolls. At $800 million in the first quarter, Lyft has an annual run rate of $3.2 billion. Uber booked more than six times that amount in about 75 countries last year.

The documents obtained by Bloomberg didn’t show Lyft’s percentage cut of its gross bookings, or the net revenue resulting from that. As a closely held company, Lyft isn’t required to report its financials publicly.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Selina Wang and Eric Newcomer from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Travel

via Skift https://skift.com

April 27, 2017 at 03:01PM

Marktown Historic District in East Chicago, Indiana

Marktown Historic District in East Chicago, Indiana

http://ift.tt/2pr4KDe

A classic Marktown house

Marktown, dubbed one of the "seven wonders of Northwest Indiana," is best known for being the only town in North America where the cars park on the sidewalks and the people walk in the streets. It was featured on "Ripley’s Believe It or Not" for this reason, but this former company town also has a rich and interesting history. 

Built in 1917, the neighborhood was designed by noted Chicago architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in the English Tudor Revival style, with all but three of the original 200 residential homes built with a stucco exterior. The idea was to create quality worker homes for employees of Clayton Mark’s steel pipe manufacturing firm, encouraging them to stick around and stay with the company.

While the original plan called for 28 sections to be built, only four sections were completed. Construction stopped after World War I, when Mark Manufacturing was sold. The open lands where the additional homes, a high school, and other amenities were to be constructed were eventually filled in with steel mills.

Due to the proximity of Marktown to the surrounding the steel industry, as well as the nation’s first and largest inland oil refinery, Marktown has been referred to as “The Brigadoon of Industrial Housing, rising out of the mists of industry every few years."

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the community, though it’s future is in doubt, as industrial giant British Petroleum is taking over the area and tearing down homes to make green space. Even though Marktown was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, that status does not stop private owners of buildings in the district from selling to companies looking to plant grass on the plots.

Marktown has survived previous threats to its existence in the 1950s and 1970s. There have been recent revitalization efforts, and some properties have landmark easements that should help protect them, but the diverse community is still worried it won’t last another hundred years. See it while you can, folks.  

Travel

via Atlas Obscura http://ift.tt/SEYBhH

April 27, 2017 at 03:00PM

Southwest Airlines Promises to Stop Overbooking Flights

Southwest Airlines Promises to Stop Overbooking Flights

http://ift.tt/2qkofKV

Southwest Airlines

Southwest plans to stop overbooking its flights, as soon as May. Southwest Airlines

Skift Take: Overbooking has gotten a lot of attention in the past three weeks, but, most of the time, it’s not a big deal. Airlines know passengers won’t show up, so they sell a few more tickets than they have seats. What’s the harm in that? Airlines might want to reduce the number of extra seats they sell, but they don’t need to retire the practice.

— Brian Sumers

Southwest Airlines will no longer sell more tickets than it has seats, a move it had been considering before an April 9 United Airlines incident highlighted problems with overbooking, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said Thursday.

“We have been challenging ourselves to make the travel experience better for our customers and just make the service better for our employees to deliver,” Kelly said on Southwest’s first quarter earnings call. “That’s one of the pain points that we would like to eliminate.”

Except for JetBlue Airways, U.S. airlines tend to overbook popular flights by several passengers, and even after the United incident, most carriers likely will continue the practice. Airlines know some travelers will switch to other flights, or will not show up at all, and they’re trying to fill every seat. Often, the system works well, and, even on oversold flights, carriers have seats for everyone at the gate.

But sometimes, airlines miscalculate, and they must persuade passengers to leave. They can ask for volunteers willing to take another flight in exchange for money or travel vouchers. But the law also permits carriers to remove passengers, so long as the carrier offers compensation, capped at $1,350.

Southwest said it often oversells flights by as little as one seat. But that will stop some as soon as early May, the airline said.

“We have been thinking about it for a long time, and we think now is the right time to do it,” Kelly said.

In 2016, Southwest “involuntarily” bumped almost 15,000 passengers for various reasons, including over-sales. Its rate of about one passenger per 10,000 customers was the highest among larger U.S. carriers. Other Southwest customers voluntarily give up their seats for compensation and do not count in that rate.

Southwest CFO Tammy Romo said the decision should have a negligible effect on the airline’s earnings.

Southwest’s move won’t completely insulate passengers from bumping. Southwest will still struggle when it substitutes a smaller jet for a larger one, something that can happen at the last minute if the original plane breaks. Rather than canceling a flight, Southwest might swap a 143-seat Boeing 737-700 for a 175-seat Boeing 737-800.

But Southwest Chief Commericial officer Bob Jordan said about 80 percent of the airline’s denied boardings come from overselling flights.

“We are going to stop so the vast majority of denied boardings will go away because the vast majority of the over-bookings are going to go away,” he said.

Profitable quarter

Southwest reported a profitable first quarter, though its earnings per share fell slightly short of analyst expectations. 

It reported net income of $351 million, and an operating margin of 13.5 percent. Total operating revenues were $4.9 billion.

Southwest said one problem was higher costs, both from more expensive fuel, and from new, more labor contracts. It said its “cost inflation” should lessen later in the year.

In a report published Thursday, analyst Daniel McKenzie of Buckingham Research predicted the company will thrive later this year. He credited Southwest for pushing through a fare increase last weak to raise prices on peak summer travel.

“The overall revenue story for Southwest and the industry remains good,”McKenzie said. “Southwest is a beneficiary of the stronger for longer earnings cycle and we continue to model near-record profits this year and record profits in 2018.”

Travel

via Skift https://skift.com

April 27, 2017 at 02:33PM

Found: A Lot of Snakes in a Walmart Parking Lot

Found: A Lot of Snakes in a Walmart Parking Lot

http://ift.tt/2p8xyQi

article-image

There’s a lot of reasons to avoid going to Walmart, but one Arkansas location recently added another reason to the list: a parking lot full of snakes!

According to KAIT, around 40 snakes were discovered Sunday slithering around at a Walmart in Paragould, in the northeastern part of the state. Witnesses initially identified them as copperheads or water moccasins, but when police arrived, they discovered they were in fact harmless garter snakes.

The police rounded up the critters, and with no suspects, are describing the incident as a “bad joke."

“They were either herding the snakes when they were frog gigging or something,” a detective told KAIT. “Either way, they were collecting them for this reason and I don’t think that was the best thing to do at all. Especially, those out there with a phobia.”

Please keep your snakes to yourselves.

Travel

via Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places http://ift.tt/UWqiBg

April 27, 2017 at 02:16PM

Governor Cuomo Crosses New Kosciuszko Bridge in FDR’s 1932 Packard Car at Grand Opening

Governor Cuomo Crosses New Kosciuszko Bridge in FDR’s 1932 Packard Car at Grand Opening

http://ift.tt/2oCkfsS

It was a busy day for the Untapped Cities staff today. While some of us were checking out the new NYC Ferry vessels before they launch at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, others were at the grand opening of the new Kosciuszko Bridge. In addition to fixing the perpetually congested bridge, which was already the third bridge at this crossing between Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Maspeth, Queens, it’s the first new bridge built in New York City in fifty years. Today’s opening was attended by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who crossed the bridge in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1932 Packard car with license plate, “ILOVENY,” which he brought out of a New York State museum and restored recently. The stunt was intended to “bring the spirit” of Roosevelt to the momentous event.

This first span of the Kosciuszko Bridge will be additionally celebrated this evening with a synchronized LED light show, the first bridge with this technology although many bridges, including the George Washington Bridge are already part of the New York Harbor of Lights program. The bridge will be open to traffic in both ways late tonight, around 11:30 PM. The existing span is still standing but will be demolished (or blown up, according to reports), sometime this summer, after which the second plan of the new bridge will be constructed in its place.

The current Kosciuszko Bridge with new span rising beside it:

Stay tuned tomorrow for our article on the fun facts about the new bridge! For now, check out 12 secrets of the current Kosciuszko Bridge.

 Brooklyn, Governor Andrew Cuomo, greenpoint, Kosciuszko Bridge, Maspeth, queens

Travel

via Untapped Cities http://ift.tt/16P17aK

April 27, 2017 at 02:13PM

Iten: Home of Champions in Iten, Kenya

Iten: Home of Champions in Iten, Kenya

http://ift.tt/2p8v30c

In some ways, Iten, Kenya, looks like a typical African town. Families live in squat stone houses scattered around the mountainous countryside, tend their land, and lead farm animals through the town’s red-dirt roads. Once a week there is a market in the center of town, where one can find both handmade goods and knockoffs of Western brands at a steep discount. Children as young as five wander freely, always happy to initiate conversation with strangers.

But Iten is unlike any other town in the world: It is the undisputed capital of Kenyan distance running, a discipline that the country dominates internationally. Kenyan runners won 19 Boston Marathon titles in a 22-year stretch and have posted 10 of the top 11 fastest times ever in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, to give two examples of their unprecedented success at the global level.

The majority of Kenyan runners are part of the Kalenjin tribe, which forms the ethnic majority in Western Kenya near the Rift Valley, which Iten is at the heart of. The village is at the perfect altitude for long-distance training and has miles of hilly dirt roads. This, along with the relative political stability of the area, has attracted elite athletes from all over the country and the world to come train with the champions.

Visiting Iten is on the bucket list for many distance runners. Waking up before the crack of dawn to run, you’ll witness groups of Kenyans dressed in track jackets and tights wordlessly embarking on their first of as many as three daily runs, a training load that can easily reach 20 to 30 miles per day. Later in the day, you can visit Kamariny Stadium, a dirt track located next to the local primary school, to watch athletes complete intervals at a dizzying clip. Here, it is fairly easy to pick out the Olympic medalists and championship marathoners who work out alongside their more anonymous countrymen.

Choosing to pursue the running dream is a grueling and thankless task for Iten athletes, who face long odds of making it big. In a region where there are few career options besides farming, many elect to train full time in hopes of catching the attention of foreign agents, who can fly them to prestigious races on the European circuit with lucrative cash prizes. It is not uncommon to meet an athlete whose personal best in the marathon would place him in the top 50 or faster in the United States, yet is so poor he has not purchased new running shoes in 10 years.

The runners initially trained on the track of St. Patrick’s High School. In 1999, former world champion Lornah Kiplagat opened a facility for both locals and foreigners called the High Altitude Training Center, with well-furnished rooms, a communal dining room, and modern training equipment. 

Travel

via Atlas Obscura http://ift.tt/SEYBhH

April 27, 2017 at 02:03PM

Iten: Home of Champions in Iten, Kenya

Iten: Home of Champions in Iten, Kenya

http://ift.tt/2p8v30c

In some ways, Iten, Kenya, looks like a typical African town. Families live in squat stone houses scattered around the mountainous countryside, tend their land, and lead farm animals through the town’s red-dirt roads. Once a week there is a market in the center of town, where one can find both handmade goods and knockoffs of Western brands at a steep discount. Children as young as five wander freely, always happy to initiate conversation with strangers.

But Iten is unlike any other town in the world: It is the undisputed capital of Kenyan distance running, a discipline that the country dominates internationally. Kenyan runners won 19 Boston Marathon titles in a 22-year stretch and have posted 10 of the top 11 fastest times ever in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, to give two examples of their unprecedented success at the global level.

The majority of Kenyan runners are part of the Kalenjin tribe, which forms the ethnic majority in Western Kenya near the Rift Valley, which Iten is at the heart of. The village is at the perfect altitude for long-distance training and has miles of hilly dirt roads. This, along with the relative political stability of the area, has attracted elite athletes from all over the country and the world to come train with the champions.

Visiting Iten is on the bucket list for many distance runners. Waking up before the crack of dawn to run, you’ll witness groups of Kenyans dressed in track jackets and tights wordlessly embarking on their first of as many as three daily runs, a training load that can easily reach 20 to 30 miles per day. Later in the day, you can visit Kamariny Stadium, a dirt track located next to the local primary school, to watch athletes complete intervals at a dizzying clip. Here, it is fairly easy to pick out the Olympic medalists and championship marathoners who work out alongside their more anonymous countrymen.

Choosing to pursue the running dream is a grueling and thankless task for Iten athletes, who face long odds of making it big. In a region where there are few career options besides farming, many elect to train full time in hopes of catching the attention of foreign agents, who can fly them to prestigious races on the European circuit with lucrative cash prizes. It is not uncommon to meet an athlete whose personal best in the marathon would place him in the top 50 or faster in the United States, yet is so poor he has not purchased new running shoes in 10 years.

The runners initially trained on the track of St. Patrick’s High School. In 1999, former world champion Lornah Kiplagat opened a facility for both locals and foreigners called the High Altitude Training Center, with well-furnished rooms, a communal dining room, and modern training equipment. 

Travel

via Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places http://ift.tt/UWqiBg

April 27, 2017 at 02:02PM

Colina Gravitacional (Gravity Hill) in León, Mexico

Colina Gravitacional (Gravity Hill) in León, Mexico

http://ift.tt/2pqQH0g

In the middle of a suburb in Leon, Mexico, there is a hill that defies the law of gravity. Or so it seems.

The phenomenon works like this: When drivers put their cars into neutral on Cima del Sol Street, rather than rolling downwards like one might expect the vehicle will creep uphill. The same goes for water spilled on the pavement and marbles set on the road—they all mysteriously roll up the hill, rather than down.

Gravity Hills that appear to defy the laws of gravity exist around the world. In the past it was believed these gravitational anomalies occurred because of magnetic forces, electrical currents, even paranormal intervention from ghosts or aliens. Ultimately though, all gravity hills and mystery spots have been revealed to be mere optical illusions. What looks like uphill is actually downhill, but the mind is tricked by clues in the surrounding landscape, like a distorted horizon line. 

Even with a completely logical explanation for the phenomenon, it’s fun to to be able to deceive your own perception. When driving on Cima del Sol Street, about 100 feet before Campestre Boulevard, put your car into neutral and watch in awe as it creeps uphill. 

Travel

via Atlas Obscura http://ift.tt/SEYBhH

April 27, 2017 at 01:35PM

Colina Gravitacional (Gravity Hill) in León, Mexico

Colina Gravitacional (Gravity Hill) in León, Mexico

http://ift.tt/2pqQH0g

In the middle of a suburb in Leon, Mexico, there is a hill that defies the law of gravity. Or so it seems.

The phenomenon works like this: When drivers put their cars into neutral on Cima del Sol Street, rather than rolling downwards like one might expect the vehicle will creep uphill. The same goes for water spilled on the pavement and marbles set on the road—they all mysteriously roll up the hill, rather than down.

Gravity Hills that appear to defy the laws of gravity exist around the world. In the past it was believed these gravitational anomalies occurred because of magnetic forces, electrical currents, even paranormal intervention from ghosts or aliens. Ultimately though, all gravity hills and mystery spots have been revealed to be mere optical illusions. What looks like uphill is actually downhill, but the mind is tricked by clues in the surrounding landscape, like a distorted horizon line. 

Even with a completely logical explanation for the phenomenon, it’s fun to to be able to deceive your own perception. When driving on Cima del Sol Street, about 100 feet before Campestre Boulevard, put your car into neutral and watch in awe as it creeps uphill. 

Travel

via Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places http://ift.tt/UWqiBg

April 27, 2017 at 01:33PM

Fireplaces of Tattershall Castle in Tattershall, England

Fireplaces of Tattershall Castle in Tattershall, England

http://ift.tt/2pDPnIr

There is a medieval castle in Lincolnshire that rises five stories above the countryside, with stunning tapestries and grand fireplaces inside intricate brick walls. What many don’t know is that those fireplaces and tapestries tell an unexpected tale of architectural plunder, and ultimately historic preservation.

Tattershall Castle, which dates to the early 15th century, has parapets, great halls, two moats, stately fireplaces, and a legacy of helping to save dozens of architectural wonders. The removal of Tattershall’s fireplaces spawned Britain’s Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act of 1913, one of today’s most effective architectural protection laws.

The year was 1910, and owners of historic buildings in the UK could mostly do with them as they wished. Tattershall, one of the first and most impressive castles of its type (brickwork was quite rare at the time) had suffered through years of neglect and fallen into disrepair. The entire place was bought, not to preserve it, but to break it up, pack it up, and ship it in pieces to the highest bidder. This included the historic tapestries and huge fireplaces, which were on the block to be sold to a buyer in the United States (rumored, maybe apocryphally, to be William Randolph Hearst).

The travesty of this remarkable structure succumbing to such a fate spurred the former Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, to buy the castle and recover the fireplaces. Prehistoric sites in the UK had been protected since 1882, but more recent buildings (and in Britain, the 15th century counts as “more recent”) had no such protection. It was Curzon who introduced the first legislation to prevent the destruction of these important structures, beginning with Tattershall.

Lord Curzon fully restored the crumbling castle, and in 1925 left it in public hands where it is now part of the National Trust. At the time, his legislation only protected medieval buildings and earlier, but it was the precursor to later laws that have provided some of the most effective architectural conservation anywhere.

Travel

via Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places http://ift.tt/UWqiBg

April 27, 2017 at 01:05PM