6 April 2017
Chicago Street Journal
Black Owned Ride-
Sharing App to Compete
with Uber, Lyft in U.S.
With the immense success of companies like Uber and Lyft, ridesharing
technology has boomed into a multi-billion dollar industry
within the past decade.
Now a new platform is looking to stake its claim in the marketplace.
Moovn is a ride-hailing mobile application founded by Godwin
Gabriel. The app currently operates in 7 U.S. cities (Washington,
DC, Chicago, IL, Boston, MA, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, San
Francisco, CA, New York, NY) and 1 city in Africa (Dar-Es-
Salaam, TZ), with plans to rapidly expand in both Western and
In a recent interview with UrbanGeekz, Gabriel explains how he
taught himself how to code, in order to launch the beta version of
his app. Saying his beta launch was “amateurish at best,” he goes on
to explain how the platform transformed into what it is today:
“It wasn’t until we received investor backing that I was able to hire
and collaborate with a team of seasoned developers to transform the
platform into what we have today.”
When asked what his biggest challenges are, he says, “The market,
for the most part, is currently being dominated by Uber and Lyft
with these companies enjoying the benefits of having first mover
advantage with the transportation technology space. However,
we’re confident that the global market remains sizable enough for
all of us to fit in and play.”
Considering the rise of smartphone usage across the continent of
Africa, operating there seems to be a good business strategy. It’s
also a market that hasn’t been explored by the big brands in the
CHICAGO — The city of Chicago has begin charging
people a tax for each bag they use to haul groceries and
other items purchased at retailers in the city. But while
the tax will produce income for the city, it remains to be
seen how much the tax will actually do to reduce the
number of plastic bags Chicagoans use - a major selling
point for such taxes in Chicago and other locales.
Some of the biggest cities in the United States
have taken it upon themselves to wage a war on
plastic bags under the guise of environmentalism.
Plastic bag fees are merely a stealth tax hike that
disproportionately hits families that go grocery
shopping more frequently.
Reusable bags tend to be unsanitary, which
causes major problems when they’re being used to
tote fresh produce and other groceries. A study in
the journal Food Protection Trends found that food
-borne illnesses could skyrocket with the increased
adoption of reusable bags.
The study found that 99 percent of reusable bags
tested contained bacteria; the figure was 0 percent
in new bags, or single-use plastic bags. These bacteria
were frequently dangerous, with E. Coli being
shockingly common in reusable bags.
So Chicago’s bag nannies are taking your money
under false pretenses, spending it on something
unrelated to its stated purposes, failing to solve the
problem they claim they’re addressing, and possibly
making you sick in the process.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $8.2 billion budget passed
with unanimous support of the Chicago City Council on
Nov. 16, including a tax on consumers for paper and
The 7-cent bag tax on plastic and paper bags at the
grocery store — or at any Chicago store without reusable
bags — follows efforts around the country to change
consumer behavior and reduce waste and harmful environmental
impact. Consumers can avoid paying the tax
by bringing their own reusable bags, thereby keeping
plastic and paper substitutes out of landfills.
At the same time, retailers receive 2 cents every time
the tax is levied and the rest goes to the city. The average
Chicago resident uses 500 plastic bags a year, totaling
1.3 billion for the whole city, according to environmental
The tax reverses a partial ban that went into effect
more than a year ago. The ban required large retailers to
replace thin plastic bags with thicker ones that are designed
to be reused. But consumers weren’t reusing the
bags, which are more expensive to make.
some policy experts aren’t convinced the new measure
will be any more effective than the last one.
Kevin Glass, policy director for the Franklin Center
for Government and Public Integrity, told the Cook
County Record that assessments of plastic bag taxes in
other cities have shown they may not have the environmental
impact public officials hope for.
“I have no doubt that they’re put forward with good
intentions, but, you know, the numbers show that they’re
largely ineffective on the environmental aspect of their
justification,” Glass said, citing a Washington Post review
of the Washington, D.C.’s 5-cent tax heralded as a
way to clean up the Anacostia River. The review found
that more of the money put in the Anacostia River Clean
Up and Protection Fund was used for school field trips
and worker salaries than for cleanup projects on the
Additionally, taxes that have been put in place on
various levels in states like California, Texas and Virginia,
among others, haven’t proven to change consumer
behavior, Glass said. Another unexpected downside
could be the reusable bags encouraged as substitutes,
which public health experts have said could pose a risk
because of the germs they carry.
Tax rates vary among http://s3.amazonaws.com/ssu
s a / c o m p a n i e s / M z Q y M z Q 1 s w Q A / u p l o a d s /
AC_Green_Logo.jpgthose who have put them in place.
Washington, D.C., charges less than the new rate in Chicago,
but some charge much more. Some, like the Better
Government Association, have publicly criticized the
few cents the city of Chicago settled on because it’s
unlikely to actually deter shoppers from using plastic
bags, making the tax just another revenue stream for the
city. The city expects to bring in $12.9 million from the
tax next year.
Glass said he thinks the mayor’s intentions are genuine,
but he said the few cents per bag will add up for low
-income shoppers, who may be disproportionately affected
by the charge. He said he believes neither a ban
nor a tax has enough of an upside to be worthwhile.
“It’s a surprisingly complicated issue, but the downsides,
I think, across the board, really outweigh the upsides,”
Glass said. “This is an evolution of what Chicago
has been trying to do. And they’ve obviously failed multiple
times before at what they’re aiming for. I just worry
that they’re going to try over and over again to restructure
or reorient how they’re either taxing or prohibiting
bags and none of it’s going to see the upside they’re
really searching for.”
Sources: http://watchdog.org, cookcountyrecord.com
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