"Curbing Cars" is Back With a Journalism Kickstarter on the Future of Transportation

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Journalist Micheline Maynard, a veteran of NPR and The New York Times, has launched her second Kickstarter. The Curbing Cars Newsletter will create independent journalism looking at the future of transportation, from driverless cars, to investments in new infrastructure. Backers will receive unique rewards.

​Business journalist Micheline Maynard, a contributor to FORBES and a veteran of NPR and the New York Times, has launched her second Kickstarter to create the Curbing Cars Newsletter.

The independent journalism project will report weekly on everything to do with the future of transportation. That includes many mobility topics, from  driverless cars and electric vehicles to cities' embrace of streets built for pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation and cars.

"People are fascinated by self-driving cars. They're wondering whether they'll let them keep driving longer. Meanwhile, there have been all kinds of consequences from the popularity of Uber and Lyft. And, communities are trying to get a grip on how new trends in mobility are going to change daily lives."

Micheline Maynard, Creator and Editor In Chief

It will look at how real estate developers are planning for a world in which cars are less important, and explore new attitudes among consumers about vehicle ownership.

Maynard is a FORBES contributor, and most recently was senior editor at the NPR program Here & Now, produced at WBUR in Boston. She was the Detroit bureau chief and a senior business correspondent for the New York Times.

This is her second crowd funding effort. Her first Kickstarter, in 2014, exceeded its goal and led to the FORBES e-book, Curbing Cars: America's Independence From The Auto Industry. It is the top-selling e-book in the Forbes Signature Series. 

"Since the Curbing Cars e-book came out, we've seen all kinds of new developments that were only just ideas three years ago," Maynard says.

"People are fascinated by self-driving cars. They're wondering whether they'll let them keep driving longer. Meanwhile, there have been all kinds of consequences from the popularity of Uber and Lyft. And, communities are trying to get a grip on how new trends in mobility are going to change daily lives."

Maynard says she decided to produce the newsletter after finding a scarce number of sources about the future of mobility. While there are plenty of automotive publications, and media outlets covering technology, few places are looking at the end result of what all these trends will mean.

Each week, the newsletter will lead off with original journalism about a mobility topic, and there will be plenty of stories to cover.

President Trump has made infrastructure repairs a top priority of his administration, which is likely to spend billions of dollars on roads, highways and bridges.

Cities across the U.S. and around the world are launching new alternative modes of transportation, responding to consumers who don't want to be tied to their cars. For example:

  • New Orleans has added new streetcar lines and is testing a bike-sharing program.
  • New York City just opened the Second Avenue subway, in the planning stages for decades.
  • Detroit is constructing a light-rail system down Woodward Avenue, which will connect downtown with its stadiums, cultural center and Wayne State University.
  • Cincinnati is dealing with the growing pains of its new streetcar system.

Maynard is joined in the project by Claudia Payne, who spend more than 30 years at the Times. She was part of a team that produced a Pulitzer Prize-winning series on Al Qaeda in 2002.

The Curbing Cars newsletter Kickstarter campaign will run through March 14.  Its goal is to raise at least $15,000.

Maynard expects that the newsletter will begin publishing in April. The money raised will be spent on travel and research, both domestic and international, writing time and distribution costs.

"For the Curbing Cars e-book, we didn't have the luxury to travel beyond the U.S. and Canada," Maynard says.

"But for the newsletter, we'd like to report from places like Copenhagen, the world's leader in the use of bikes for every day travel, and Paris, which is clamping down on automotive pollution. We also want to visit China, which has dazzled developers with its vast new infrastructure projects."

Campaign supporters pledging at least $5 will receive early delivery of the newsletter each week, before content is posted at CurbingCars.com.

Those backing the campaign at the $100 level will be recognized as Champions of Journalism.

At the $250 level, backers will be invited to Coffee With Curbing Cars, in-person sessions with Maynard and special guests, discussing mobility topics. A $500 contribution enables a one-week sponsorship of the newsletter.

And for $1,000, backers receive all available rewards and a specially designed Curbing Cars totebag.

Maynard is available to discuss the Curbing Cars Kickstarter and a wide variety of mobility topics.

For information on Curbing Cars, visit the Curbing Cars Newsletter project page on Kickstarter, see past work by the project at CurbingCars.com, follow the project on Twitter @curbingcars and get updates on Facebook.

Media contact:

Micki Maynard

(734) 995-8479

vmaynard@umich.edu

Source: Curbing Cars

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