Episode 34: Department of Bikeland Security

 

Sarah Goodyear: Hi, everybody. Sarah Goodyear here. Before we start the episode, a quick shout out to a new podcast from our friends over Transitcenter.org. It’s called High Frequency. High Frequency tells the stories of the people who are fighting to make transit faster, better and more reliable in cities all across the United States. To win the war on cars, we need transit that really works for everybody, and that’s what High Frequency is all about. You can find it on Spotify and Apple podcasts. And now, The War on Cars.

Aaron Naparstek: Should we just, like, walk up to the kiosk and see what’s going on?

Yosef Kessler: This kiosk is 207 square feet. It would park one SUV. For bikes, it can park 20 bikes at a time. And if you look down the street, there is a parking lot that is 10 times as big as the kiosk.

Aaron: And how many cars are in there?

Yosef Kessler: Ten cars at most.

Aaron: Show me how this thing works. Like, you’re getting a bike out maybe, or something?

Yosef Kessler: Sure. When you arrive at the pod, you scan the door open.

Aaron: So you don’t need—you guys don’t have to have any personnel here. It’s just all completely self-serve.

Yosef Kessler: The fact that this can run by itself for 24/7, and doesn’t need constant oversight where somebody needs to physically be here makes the whole thing work.

Aaron: It’s kind of a no-brainer. It’s like, I mean, we must have dozens of these around every major transit hub in the New York City region, no?

Yosef Kessler: From your lips to God’s ears.

Aaron: Hello, and welcome to The War on Cars, the podcast that definitely does not have its lips to God’s ears, because if we did, there would be a lot fewer cars in New York City. I am Aaron Naparstek, and I’m here with my co-hosts Doug Gordon and Sarah Goodyear. Guys, Happy New Year.

Doug Gordon: Happy New Year.

Sarah: Happy New Year. So you said you were gonna come back with some good news, some good news for us to start out the new year. And this is what you came back with? Bicycle parking in Jersey City?

Aaron: You know, we said we wanted to kick off the new year with an episode about things that are going right in the world, and this is all I could find.

Sarah: That’s it. [laughs]

Aaron: The Oonee Pod, the bike parking facility in Jersey City.

Sarah: Okay.

Doug: I have heard from listeners that they tune in to us to not be reminded of just how horrible the world is, so this is a good way to start things off.

Sarah: It’s true. It’s a place to begin.

Aaron: Yes, exactly. So that tape at the top was a guy named Yosef Kessler. He works for a company called Oonee. And Oonee is something that is definitely going right in the world. They are a scrappy, hard-working startup company based in Brooklyn. They are overcoming all kinds of obstacles and challenges to develop secure bike parking facilities at big transit stations around the New York metro region. And I visited that pod in Jersey City. They just opened one up here in Brooklyn. And Doug, you were actually at the big grand opening, were you not?

Doug: Yeah, there was a big ribbon-cutting of sorts, and a bunch of local elected officials were there. The speaker of the city council was there. And yeah, it’s great. I’m a huge bike parking nerd. I think it is the secret weapon in the war on cars. It really is the key to unlocking so much potential for cycling in cities. It’s great if you have safe places to ride, and we’re getting more of those in New York all the time. But we don’t have a whole lot of great places to park our bikes. So that’s the next step.

Sarah: Yeah, I mean, it’s a hugely important thing for people, if they have invested in the bicycle, to be able to feel like they can put it somewhere secure. And that’s a really big barrier actually, for a lot of people. Like, it’s cool to park your car places, and you can do that safely, but not your bike.

Aaron: So on today’s episode, we’re gonna be talking about secure bike parking at transit stations in general, and why it is actually quite important and transformative. And more than that, we’re also gonna be talking about the challenge of trying to make change happen in cities, and how much persistence and work it takes even to implement an idea that I said at the top when I was talking to Yosef that seems like a no-brainer—something that we know works, that shouldn’t be all that expensive or difficult to do, that doesn’t require any real, you know, new technology, necessarily. And it just seems like we should have more of. And we’ve got the perfect guy to join us for this conversation, a special guest sitting in the studio with us today, Shabazz Stuart, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Oonee. Shabazz, welcome to The War on Cars.

Shabazz Stuart: Thank you so much, Aaron, Doug, Sarah, for having me. I’m a huge fan. It’s an honor to be here.

Aaron: Oh, he’s honored!

Doug: We’re glad to have you.

Aaron: Guys, apparently he did the Bike Snob radio show before us this morning.

Sarah: Oh, well we’re gonna …

Shabazz Stuart: You guys were scheduled first, though. The Bike Snob came totally last minute.

Sarah: It’s just a warmup.

Aaron: Yeah, exactly.

Shabazz Stuart: This is the main event.

Aaron: You’re just warming up.

Sarah: But before we do that, we have some business to take care of. We do depend on your Patreon contributions to keep the podcast going, and thank you so much to all of our contributors. If you could, please chip in a few dollars to the war effort. Go to thewaroncars.org and click “Donate.”

Aaron: As always, we’ll send you stickers, T-shirts and all kinds of great War on Cars swag. You will even get early access to some releases of special episodes and things every so often. And we will, you know, appreciate you a lot.

Doug: And we have some big news for 2020. We are doing our first live podcast recording. It’s going to be on Monday, February 10 at Bicycle Colorado’s annual Moving People Forward Conference. That is in Denver. You can register for the event at Bicyclecolorado.org. We’re going to do a second live show. That’s going to be at the National Bike Summit hosted by the League of American Bicyclists in Washington, DC. That happens March 15 through 17. We will not be recording for those three days—we’ll be on one of those days. You can check out more by going to Bikeleague.org/summit.

Sarah: And having just addressed some stickers to our Patreon contributors, I happen to know that we have contributors both in Denver and in the Washington, D.C., metro area. So if you are one of those people, here’s your chance to write to, you know, see us in person and complain to us in person.

Aaron: If you want to hear how insane we sound without an editor. This is your chance, people.

Sarah: [laughs] Exactly!

Doug: Maybe we are gonna need those three days in DC, I don’t know. We’ll see. We’re excited to see you. I’m very excited to meet all these people and do the show. It’s gonna be great. We hopefully will have some big guests, so stay tuned.

Aaron: So guys, bike parking in Jersey City seems like a small thing, but it’s not, right? Like, why is this important? Why are we talking about this?

Doug: You know, many cities across the country are investing in safe bicycle lanes, and places for people to ride of all ages. But the missing link is parking. More often parking to lampposts and street signs and fences and even trees, and a lot of times you’re not even sure if your bike’s gonna be there when you come back. So in order to make cycling a reliable form of transportation, you need to rely on the fact that your bike’s gonna be there at the end of your trip. So I really think there’s a lot of potential if cities were to focus on bike parking above almost anything else.

Sarah: Yeah, I think that the stress that people talk about when they talk about not having secure bike parking is really a big factor in making the decision to use a bicycle for transportation or not.

Aaron: And actually, the stress issue came up a lot when I was interviewing people out there at the Oonee Pod in Jersey City. People talked a lot about how much just having secure bike parking alleviates their stress. And Shabazz, I mean, your story, the story of this company, as I understand it, it starts with you having your own bike stolen repeatedly. Is that right?

Shabazz Stuart: Three times in five years.

Aaron: So tell us how—give us the origin story.

Shabazz Stuart: So I used to work for a business improvement district. I was deputy director of operations for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and I relied during the warmer months on a bicycle to get to work. And in April of 2015, my bike was stolen off the streets in downtown Brooklyn. That was my third bike in a period of five years. And, you know, having the benefit of some operational know-how, and having the trauma of being a recent victim of bike theft, I kind of thought, well, wait a second here. This is common-sense infrastructure for any form of transit that we hope to scale. We can’t approach cycling from only the safety element, where we’ve got protected bicycle lanes. So then I started to think about how do we address some of the other fissures in the experience? That’s how Oonee was born.

Sarah: So let’s hear from somebody who’s actually using this thing.

Cyclist: I wouldn’t be able to bike to work if this wasn’t here. When I bought my bike, I told the dude who sold it to me I planned on locking it up at Journal Square. He was like, “Don’t do that. It’s gonna get jacked.” But then right after I bought it, this came along and I park my bike here. I feel all right about it.

Aaron: So what’s the difference in your life? The fact that you can bike more, and you don’t have to take the bus as much?

Cyclist: I get to leave my apartment at 8:15 instead of 8:00. And you know what? If I don’t make it to the gym during my lunch hour, well, my bike home is exercise for me.

Doug: So can we roll it back? Can you explain, though, like, what does an Oonee bike parking facility look like, and how does it work?

Shabazz Stuart: An Oonee bike parking facility is a kiosk that you find on the street. It’s enclosed, so you have to enter with a key card or with a phone. You go inside, and it’s basically a bike room. It’s an interior bike room. You know, in the future, we’re gonna have some self-locking racks, we’ll have some more IT, but right now it’s a nice bike room on the inside. The innovation point comes from a few areas. One, it looks good.

Aaron: Yeah, I gotta say I was really struck by the fact that it was clearly designed. It was, like, very thoughtfully designed and constructed. And you could feel that in—you know, but simple. You know, it’s not some, like, massive architectural thing, but it was designed.

Shabazz Stuart: The challenge with bike infrastructure, you see prisons for bikes, bike cages, you see bike lockers. These all hearken back to this idea that if we’re gonna protect something, it’s got to be very, you know, metallic and kind of boxy. And that’s a nonstarter. The rule 101 in public space is it’s got to be something that is attractive, and it’s got to be something that’s suitable for marquee urban environments. So we attacked Oonee with a design philosophy that married placemaking with transportation infrastructure. And placemaking just means that we think of the 40,000 people who walk by that kiosk in Journal Square as our users too. What is the experience like for them?

Aaron: I got to say, I mean, that concept in itself, I think about that a lot with cars. Like, what if carmakers started thinking of the people outside of their cars as users, too?

Shabazz Stuart: Right.

Aaron: And then you would think, like, okay, well, our cars should not hurt those other users. Our cars should be—you know, they shouldn’t be, like, so noisy.

Sarah: But, you know, I think this is something, it’s like a bigger point about the way that, especially cities in the United States are, it’s like this idea that getting around should be pleasant and stress-free and aesthetically appealing. It’s just it seems like—I don’t know, at least in New York, like, it’s supposed to be like a struggle to get anywhere. Like, you’re a native New Yorker, Shabazz.

Shabazz Stuart: Yeah, born and raised.

Sarah: Right? Like, isn’t it like …

Aaron: We’re supposed to be rats in the maze, right?

Sarah: Well, right. And like, when you get your bike stolen, that’s kind of like, “Yeah, yeah. I got my bike stolen.”

Doug: You earned your stripes.

Aaron: Yeah. You’re a New Yorker.

Sarah: You know, but, like, that’s just nonsense.

Aaron: That’s bullshit. It’s bullshit.

Sarah: It’s a terrible way to be, and it’s like we wear it like it’s a badge of pride or something. It’s not a badge of pride.

Shabazz Stuart: It’s not feasible if we seek to get to a place where cycling is a mainstream form of transport. So we have 500,000 bike trips a day in New York on average. We want to get to world where we have two million. So the question is: how do we find those 1.5-million trips a day, and convince those folks that this is something that will actually be more suitable for you than riding in an Uber or walking or taking the train? And so Oonee on its face is a secure bike parking facility, but it’s also borne out of a desire to think through how we can convince people that this is a mode of transport worth utilizing.

Sarah: Okay, so what I’m hearing is that this is sensible, it’s needed. It’s not hard. There are prototypes. There are, you know, templates. And yet, it has been kind of hard, and from what I understand from having read some stuff that you’ve written, Shabazz, you’ve come up in the course of your efforts to do this and other things, you’ve come up against a lot of obstacles. And maybe you could talk a little bit about that, because you’ve written about it really eloquently.

Shabazz Stuart: Thank you, thank you. Look, whenever you try to break the status quo, and you try to innovate, you’re going to inherently ask people to do things differently. And you’re going to ask people to break the rules that maintain the status quo. And so what we’re trying to do with Oonee is ask people to reimagine the role of public space, and trying to cohere bike-friendly infrastructure to public transit. We’re not used to, in America, thinking about bikes as public transit. So our biggest challenge is acquiring real estate, getting cities and governments to start to think about bikes seriously. I think there’s a lot of lip service paid by folks to being environmentally friendly, to being green, to being bike friendly, but we’re asking folks to put their money where their mouth is.

Sarah: And what is the—how much does it cost to park your bike there?

Shabazz Stuart: Right now? Zero dollars.

Doug: I’m a member of the one at the Atlantic Terminal, and it is zero dollars. I just signed up, downloaded an app, and I can get a code when I show up and bring my bike in.

Aaron: So, you know, Oonee’s business model requires, you know, this sort of billboard advertising in public space. And is that the price we have to pay for bike parking?

Shabazz Stuart: So yes, when we designed Oonee, the business model, the goal was to remove the economic burden from the people on bikes and place them elsewhere. We realized very quickly that if we ported over a car-based economic model where people were going to pay for parking, A) it wouldn’t be very popular with cyclists. We wouldn’t be able to serve effectively the community. Edison has some secure bike parking in their facilities, they offer it for about a dollar a day.

Doug: That’s one of the big car parking operators here, yeah.

Shabazz Stuart: Yeah. And they—look, they’ve been the most progressive. Because remember, parking lots in New York are required to, and they actually are far ahead of anyone else in that sector. And that’s considered to be by most cyclists, not affordable.

Doug: I think that the bike parking garage near me charges something like $59 a month, or something like that. And after just a few months, you could just buy a new bike.

Sarah: Yeah.

Aaron: Totally.

Shabazz Stuart: Yeah, it’s something that, you know, we haven’t thought carefully about as policymakers. If a MetroCard costs $130 a month, and Citi Bike costs $14 a month, why are you charging people $59 a month to park their bike? So we said, “Look, we don’t charge people to use bus shelters and newsstands, and we don’t charge people to use LinkNYC and we charge people very little to use Bike Share. If we are going to get to a place where this can really scale in cities, we’re going to need private capital. The concern about if we are going to be in a place where every public space is sponsored by Coca-Cola is very valid. And so the best we can do now is be honest and say, “Look, we have to have choices here. And with choices come priorities.” Do we think that secure bike parking and bike parking infrastructure is valid enough a cause to be treated like public transportation? And if it is, let’s have a conversation about the mechanisms to which we’re going to use to finance that. Are we going to have subsidies? I would love a subsidy. We don’t subsidize Citi Bike, by the way, right? Are we going to have advertising? Are we going to have a tax on something else, right?

Aaron: I mean, but do you worry at all that just like, you know, the Port Authority or the MTA or the city government will just say, like, what do we need Oonee for? We’ll just build this ourselves.

Shabazz Stuart: That’d be great.

Aaron: Like, this should be public infrastructure, you know? Bike racks aren’t built by a private company.

Doug: But then couldn’t you become, like, the contractor who builds that thing? That would be a good business model, I suppose.

Shabazz Stuart: Yeah. If I go out of business, I want it to be for the right reason. If New York City said, “We’re gonna do it ourselves, we’re gonna build it ourselves,” I’d say, “You know what? I have other markets I can go to, but amazing.”

Aaron: You sound confident that this is not gonna happen.

Shabazz Stuart: [laughs] Look, here in New York, we tend to export a lot of public transit to private operators. The cities could offer their own bike share systems, they could offer their own bus shelters. Those are all handled by private operators. I don’t see a reason why cities would start to build these kinds of massive infrastructure outlays on their own when there are other revenue streams and sources that can be leveraged.

Cyclist: So for me, it helps just kind of alleviate any stress or worries I have about my bike or my scooter. My bike’s handle grip got stolen. So, you know, once in a while, when I parked there, it just caused a little bit of stress for me. And then having this here, it makes it just kind of peace of mind, knowing that my scooter is locked up, no one’s gonna steal from it. It’s just a lot less worry in general.

Aaron: You know, there are a lot of tech companies, new mobility companies, that are rolling into cities and they’re dropping their apps on our phones and their devices on our streets. And, you know, they come from Silicon Valley or wherever they come from. You grew up in New York City. You’ve been walking, biking, riding transit in New York City your entire life. And I’m curious if you think that that makes any difference, or specifically informs the work you’re doing.

Shabazz Stuart: One hundred percent. Unfortunately, we get a lot of entrepreneurs who work in cities, and specifically work on issues of mobility in cities, who don’t understand cities or don’t care about cities. This manifests all the time. And when I have conversations with other thought leaders, you know, I’ve become a bit more thoughtful about bringing up the issue of diversity and inclusivity in the space of mobility entrepreneurship, because some of these companies are mostly white men who are from the suburbs.

Shabazz Stuart: And when you look at New York City, one out of every four people is Black in New York City. One out of every four is Latino. Why don’t we have more diversity and more diverse voices representing us in these spaces? If we’re going to design the future of New York City streets, we ought to have at the planning table voices who grew up in New York City from a diverse array of perspectives. So case in point: when I pitch Oonee to government, the question I often get is, “How come it’s so cheap? How come it’s free? How come you’re not charging people more? You could probably charge people $10 a month.” And I’m like, “Listen, you know, I’m a poor kid from Brooklyn. My friends ain’t paying $10 a month to park their bicycle.” And sure enough, you know, we have a lot of working cyclists, we have a lot of delivery folks, we got people who are messengers, and they make $25,000, $30,000 a year. They cannot afford to pay $15 a month to park their bike. What about them? Their voices have to be represented at the table.

Doug: You know, you brought that up, one of the things that’s been interesting to follow with Oonee are the working cyclists who use your service, because I tend to use my bike as a means of getting to and from my job. And so I’m excited to get back on it when my job for the day ends. But for the working cyclists, what I’ve noticed is they leave their bikes there overnight because their job is riding their bike all day or all night, and then at the end of their shift, they toss it in one of your facilities and they take the subway home.

Shabazz Stuart: Yeah, that’s a great point. And this is a moment for me to reflect on my own ignorance, because when we launched our downtown Manhattan location back in 2018, we turned our lights off at 12:00 a.m., because we were conserving power, we were solar powered. And on the app, I can see who logs in and logs out. And I saw there were two logins, you know, there was Felix and there was Anthony. And they were right next to each other at 12:50 in the morning. And my first reaction was someone’s stealing. Why—because my biggest fear at that point was someone’s going to register for this thing and they’re going to come in late and they’re going to start clipping bikes. And so I emailed both of them. I said, “What are you guys up to?” I didn’t say that. But I said, “Hey, how’s it going? I noticed you logged in. Is everything okay?” And they said “Yeah. You know, we work nearby. We’re delivery guys, and we were coming in after our shift to lock our bikes up.” And by the way, it was dark.” [laughs] And A) I felt really bad, but B) I realized then that, wow, this is a whole use case that we hadn’t even considered. And, you know, whether it’s arrogance, whether it’s just that they’re invisible. But, you know, shame on me for not, at that time, contemplating that, you know, ultimately 30 percent of our users would be people who use their bicycles for work.

Sarah: Yeah. I mean, that’s—that’s so fascinating, and I feel like that just plays into something that you see in discussions about bicycle infrastructure across this country all the time. And that’s there’s often this perception that bicycle infrastructure is a gentrification move. That it’s for people of means, and that it signals that, you know, this neighborhood is now entering into a gentrification cycle in which it’s going to become a place for people of means.

Shabazz Stuart: Yeah.

Sarah: And I was wondering if you’ve encountered that as a response to Oonee at all, and how you deal with that, and how you reckon with that. And then, like, because precisely as you’re saying, the people—a lot of the people who need secure bike infrastructure are working people who their bicycles are their tools. So how do you deal with that?

Shabazz Stuart: People are reacting, not to bicycles and bicycle infrastructure, they’re reacting to the whiteness of the movement, of the advocacy movement to support bicycles and bike infrastructure. And when you see advocates, and when you see people on Citi Bike, and when you see, you know, traditional cyclists often …

Sarah: The hosts of The War on Cars.

Aaron: [laughs]

Shabazz Stuart: Look, they’re often front and center in how we perceive the bicycle movement. And so—and that has been people who don’t like bikes have used that. I think The New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo said that cyclists were all these middle-aged white men tech bros, right? But here’s the thing: it’s not true. Those same people are committing the cardinal sin of a racist, classist paradigm by basically treating working cyclists who constitute a massive, massive, massive portion of Bike NYC as invisible. They’re treating them as invisible, like they don’t matter. And I come up against this a lot in community board meetings where people will say, “No one bikes here. This is not a neighborhood where people bike.” And they order take-out.

Aaron: And it’s like, “Do you get food delivered to your door?”

Shabazz Stuart: Yeah, they’ll order take out. You know, “I’m going home. I’m going to order on Seamless.” And how do you think that it gets there? It’s a problem that is systemic. It goes beyond bikes, where we treat people who are Black and brown as invisible because they’re not riding on nice bikes, and because they’re not, you know, wearing—you know, they don’t have bumper stickers that say, “Everyone on a bike,” right? They’re doing it as part of their job. And so, no, I would encourage our brothers and sisters who, you know, mean well when we talk about the affordability crisis and gentrification, to look at cycling more holistically than just, you know, young white men on bikes. Look in your street and look at, you know, when you order food. How are they getting there? They’re getting there on bikes, and those bikes are taking car trips.

Doug: But I think it’s like you’re separating also the movement has a white problem. It has a problem.

Sarah: Oh, for sure.

Doug: The movement for sure, versus the people who are actually out there on streets using bikes like you said, are large cases not people like me.

Shabazz Stuart: And that’s just not limited to bikes. We often have a problem where the people who are the advocates and messengers are perhaps more privileged than the folks that they’re messaging on behalf of, right? We see that problem systemically on a number of issues.

Cyclist: I had bought my bike over the summer because of this place. I commute into the World Trade Center via the PATH, and I never really wanted to buy a bike because I was always worried it was gonna get stolen. And then when this came up, I was like, “Okay. Okay, this is cool. I’m gonna get a bike now.”

Doug: We’ve been talking a lot about New York or Jersey City. Are you in discussions with other cities to export this outside of the tri-state area?

Shabazz Stuart: Yeah. You know, our goal, our 2020 resolution is to find someone—ideally in New York, but someone who wants to do 20 of these, so we can really build it the right way. Because Oonee was designed to operate on scale. I didn’t get involved with this project to build one or two or three. I got involved to build hundreds. We’re looking for a city that will provide us—or a state that will provide us with the real estate to get to that vision. We’ve been talking to LA. We were talking to Miami-Dade County. We’ve been talking to Boston, Denver. We’re still hoping that we find someone on a state or local level—states control lots of real estate in cities—that, you know, will say, “Look, this is a good product, a good story. Makes sense.” As Aaron said, “Why aren’t we doing this everywhere? And we’re going to work to circumnavigate the challenges that exist to bring this to market in our city.” We don’t have years to wait and millions of dollars of resources to navigate an RFP process. So that’s been a key obstacle for us.

Sarah: It seems like in a way, what is needed is a sense of competition among cities in the United States to be the first city to really start putting all of the pieces into place to make, you know, bike infrastructure work as a holistic solution for people who bike to work or bike as work. Some sense of like, you know, “No, LA’s gonna do it. No, New York’s gonna do it.”

Aaron: Shabazz should run, like, an Amazon HQ2 competition.

Sarah: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.

Aaron: You know, like, which city will host the next Oonee pod?

Shabazz Stuart: So I will say that, you know, there have been some encouraging signs on that regard. Lots of cities are actually thinking holistically. Jersey City just released a really awesome bike master plan. Bike parking has been in the strategic plan for New York City DOT since 2016. For the first time in the Green Wave, there was hidden in the Green Wave, a reference to a dispersed, secure bike parking RFEI—request for expressions of interest. That’s really exciting. No city has ever done that before, where they’ve said, “We’re going to think about secure bike parking on a citywide platform, and we’re going to solicit bids.” We think that if that happens here, it will happen very quickly in other cities. Our challenge is to get to a place where we have a number of these in operation, so that our proof of concept is solid, and then build a political narrative around the need for this kind of infrastructure, so that people feel inclined to move quicker and realize it’s not as big of a risk as it might seem last year.

Doug: Maybe that gets to kind of where we started, which is that cities are not designed for change. The structure and organizations of city government are not designed for—you know, request for expression of interest to me suggests something that’s gonna take years, years we don’t have in the age of climate change. And yet here you are, this very nimble startup company with literally a, like, build it up like a Lego set, beautifully-designed kiosks that can just be dropped down. With work—I’m oversimplifying it. But you don’t want to play that game, necessarily. You can’t afford it. It’s not necessary. Like, let’s just get it out there and see what works.

Shabazz Stuart: You know, cities can move very quickly when they like, and not very quick when they don’t want to. I mean so, look, I don’t know if the governor listens to The War on Cars but, you know, my dream scenario—probably not likely. I get it. My dream scenario is …

Doug: [laughs] Andrew Cuomo, if you’re listening, we will send you one of these pods and a War on Cars t-shirt.

Shabazz Stuart: My dream scenario would be to find someone like a Governor Cuomo or Mayor de Blasio or, you know, a Governor Phil Murphy and say, “Listen, can I sit down with you for 20 minutes and just tell you what we’re up to?” And I think this is a win for everybody. You know, Governor Cuomo has spoken very eloquently about the need to support small businesses in New York. We’re a local small business. We are nontraditional founders, diverse team. Most of our team is African American. We’re working in New York City, bringing positive change to New York City. What’s not to like?

Sarah: That’s right. Yeah, yeah. No, so, Governor Cuomo, if you’re out there, this is your chance to …

Aaron: We will send you a War on Cars keychain for your muscle car keys.

Sarah: Exactly. [laughs] Do the right thing.

Aaron: I think that’s a wrap. Shabazz, thanks so much for coming out and talking to us. It was a real pleasure.

Shabazz Stuart: Thank you for having me, and keep on doing awesome work.

Sarah: Yeah, we will. And if all of our listeners out there would take the time to rate and review us on Apple podcasts, that really helps to bring people to the podcast. And you can always write us with comments, questions, complaints, rants to thewaroncars@gmail.com.

Doug: As always, we’d like to thank our top Patreon supporters: Charley Gee of Human Powered Law in Portland, Oregon, the law office of Vaccaro & White in New York City, Huck and Elizabeth Phiney, and Drew Raines. Also, don’t forget we’ve got a couple of live shows coming up. We’ll put links to registration and tickets in the show notes for both of those.

Aaron: This episode was recorded by Marcus Dembinski at the Brooklyn Podcasting Studio. It was edited by Ali Lemer. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear. I’m Aaron Naparstek.

Doug: I’m Doug Gordon.

Sarah: I’m Sarah Goodyear. And this is The War on Cars.

Yosef Kessler: Okay, this’ll—your audience members will like this. Yeah, I want to devote my life to the war on cars. [laughs]

Aaron: Wow.

Yosef Kessler: Donate today to The War on Cars podcast.

Aaron: Oh yeah, okay.

Yosef Kessler: Be a Patreon subscriber now.

Aaron: You’re hired. Shabazz, we’re taking this guy.