Regional News • Europe
Fehmarn Belt Tunnel: German Court dismisses claims against construction
Fehmarn Belt Tunnel: German Court dismisses claims against construction
Credit: Courtesy of Femern A/S

The world’s longest immersed road and rail tunnel, the Fehmarnbelt link is going to be built. The state treaty between Germany and Denmark is valid and binding under international law: the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig has rejected the lawsuits against the controversial Fehmarn Belt crossing - thus removing the last major legal hurdles to the construction of the more than seven billion euro tunnel.

Both states explicitly adhered to the contract and the EU Commission continues to count the link as one of its most important transport projects, said presiding judge Wolfgang Bier in the oral reasoning of the judgement.

Scheduled to open in mid-2029, the work on the Danish side is expected to start on January 1, 2021, after several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Uber could pause ride-hailing in California if drivers become employees
Uber app on a mobile phone
Uber app on a mobile phone Credit: Charles Deluvio (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The San Francisco Superior Court granted California’s request for a preliminary injunction saying that Uber and rival Lyft must make drivers employees rather than independent contractors. Judge Ethan Schulman delayed that order for ten days, giving the companies time to appeal, as both have said they will.

Dana Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, stated: "If the court doesn’t reconsider, then in California, it’s hard to believe we’ll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly."

Uber and Lyft are pushing Proposition 22, a November ballot initiative that would keep drivers as freelancers entitled to some benefits and earnings guarantees.

Business • Economy
Uber to launch commuter boat service in London
Galaxy Clipper, a Thames Clippers riverboat, on the River Thames
Galaxy Clipper, a Thames Clippers riverboat, on the River Thames Credit: Acabashi (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

A Thames Clippers London riverboat service will be rebranded Uber Boat later this summer. The deal will allow Uber users to book a Thames river journey through the app, and board using a QR code on their phone.

Uber will buy the naming rights for the fleet of riverboats and piers along the river at Canary Wharf in the east, the London Eye in the centre of town and Battersea Power Station in the west.

Jamie Heywood, Uber's regional manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, stated: "Many Londoners are looking for new ways to travel around the city, particularly when they start commuting back to work,".

Italy arrests Siemens, Alstom executives over alleged bribery relating to Milan subway contracts
Siemens headquarters Munich
Siemens headquarters Munich Credit: Siemens

The Italian Finance police arrested 13 people in an investigation about bribery related to Milan subway contracts. Officials of ATM, Milan municipal transport company, and two executives working for Alstom and one for Siemens were detained.

Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco said that Paolo Bellini, manager at ATM, is accused of taking €125,000 related to eight contract tenders worth €150 million.

Business • Economy
Lyft reports 26% growth in rides for May compared to April
Lyft reports 26% growth in rides for May compared to April
Credit: Austin Distel

Lyft announced today that rides on the platform grew 26% in May compared to the previous month. Still, the company said rides are down about 70% compared to May 2019.

After the announcement, Lyft shares rose more than 4%.

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
LNER requires mandatory ticket reservations starting May 18
LNER at London Kings Cross
LNER at London Kings Cross Credit: SavageKieran / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

London North Eastern Railway has announced that "all LNER services will be reservation only from Monday 18 May 2020." Customers can purchase the service in addition to their flexible tickets. While LNER is making reservations mandatory, Avanti West Coast is only recommending reserving tickets.

Technology • Internet & Web
Intel acquires transit data startup Moovit for $900 million

Intel Corporation announced it has acquired Moovit for approximately $900 million ($840 million net of Intel Capital equity gain).

Intel claims "The addition of Moovit brings Intel’s Mobileye closer to achieving its plan to become a complete mobility provider, including robotaxi services, which is forecast to be an estimated $160 billion opportunity by 2030".

Technology • Internet & Web
Intel to buy transit startup Moovit for $1B
Moovit application screenshot
Moovit application screenshot Credit: Moovit Media Assets

Techcrunch sources claim Intel is close to acquiring transit app developer Moovit in a deal estimated at around $1 billion.

Moovit — which had previously been backed by Intel Capital in a strategic investment — will become part of Intel’s Israeli automotive hub and help with Intel's overall self-driving strategy.