Mobility Business

Mobility Business

Mobility businesses are commercial operations that turn mobility into a commodity. Through such businesses, one can buy a piece of mobility service—or “outsourced” mobilities—at a price for the sake of safety, convenience or efficiency. In similar ways, one can sell one’s mobility labour, measured by time and distance, for a fee. Mobility acquires its patent market value precisely as its cost—in other words, the value of immobility—becomes manifest. As such, the rise of the mobility business urges us to rethink the redistribution of mobilities across different populations.

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Many western governments outsource and contract migrant-sending and -transit countries into their border enforcement and frontiering projects. What changes does this spell for the world order? As foot soldiers, mobile workforce arguably play a huge role in making this system a possibility. — Julia Morris, Biao Xiang
Erik Forman (co-founder of The Drivers Cooperative) probes a new definition of the company that can fill the void left by the declining of labour unions. The Drivers Cooperative attempts to do just that. The new type of companies need to adopt creative measures such as “sweat equity” and crowdfunding to address bottleneck obstacles, namely the shortage of capital. — Erik Forman, Biao Xiang
Our daily mobility is increasingly mediated by ever more complex socio-techno infrastructure. Technology platform companies are the most visible part of the infrastructure, but are certainly not all. — Erik Forman, Biao Xiang
The monopolistic positions of app-platform giants, such as Uber and Grab, partly lie with their power of engineering new lifestyles and perceptions about social relations. The platform economy is as much an economic project as a cultural one. — Erik Forman, Biao Xiang
Mobility businesses sell customers the service of having someone else move on the customers’ behalf. Expanding rapidly, the business has far-reaching economic and social implications. — Biao Xiang
Testimonies of gig economy workers during the pandemic in Germany show that lockdowns have altered labour options, creating and consolidating new patterns of mobility and immobility. — Moritz Altenried, Manuela Bojadživev & Mira Wallis
This entry sheds light on the different forms of mobility businesses that emerged in South Africa, and how online ride-hailing firms expanded their businesses by collaborating with companies to transport employees and deliver goods during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. — Mengnjo Tardzenyuy Thomas
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of the Canary Islands has implemented a strategy based on advertisement, economic diplomacy, and public health security to sustain tourist mobility, a vital element of the Islands’ economy. — Lore Purroy
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