In the News: Video Ads You Can’t Silence Are Coming to Uber and Lyft

••• “The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has reorganized its network of Express Bus service between Staten Island and Manhattan, announcing 21 new consolidated routes. Two of these planned routes will bring as many as a dozen large buses into Battery Park City each rush hour. The SIM7 and SIM33 routes are slated to exit the Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel each morning, turning right onto West Street and then turn left into Battery Park City at Murray Street. At that point, they will turn right on North End Avenue and right again on Warren Streets, exiting the community once more onto West Street. The same buses will reverse these paths at the end of each day, during the evening rush hour. […] The MTA […] is slated to implement the plan by August of this year.” At first I thought this was a shame, but why shouldn’t these buses be spread around as much as possible, so everyone shares the burden? Compare how many go up Church and down Broadway. —Broadsheet

••• “Thousands of Uber and Lyft cars will be outfitted with video-ad screens that cannot be turned off and that can be only ‘near’ muted. […] The ad company Vugo has contracts with about 3,500 New York City black-car drivers to install the screens, founder James Bellefeuille said. The screens will be up and running within weeks, and he is on the hunt for more drivers to sign up.” Horrible.New York Post

••• Tribeca Trib reports on the Church Street School for Music and Art’s big fundraiser.

••• “Gibney Dance, as part of a rebranding tied to its newly expanded home in Lower Manhattan, will now simply be called Gibney. […] The name change comes with the unveiling of 10,000 square feet of new facilities at 280 Broadway, one of two buildings Gibney occupies for a total of 23 studios and five performance spaces.” —New York Times

••• If you buy the $15.5 million Penthouse C at the Sterling Mason, you get a parking space in the building’s garage. Also, “the Beekman Residences [115 Nassau], in Lower Manhattan, is banking on a ‘Beekman Card’ to market its remaining condominiums, priced at $2.9 million and up. The card comes loaded with $10,000 in credit for the Beekman Hotel next door, which can be used for ordering room service from Tom Colicchio’s Temple Court […] or booking reservations for out-of-town visitors.” Why would the New York Times run a rendering of the building when it’s been done for a while now?


  1. “Free” $10,000 Beekman Card?!?! Sign me up! Alternatively, they could just cut the price of the $3mm apartment by a whopping ~0.33% and get to the same place…but that wouldn’t be headline worthy… Silly.

  2. If Uber & Lyft put in video ads that can’t be silenced, I will simply stop using their services. More business for good old yellow taxis, then.

    • Wouldn’t any Uber or Lyft driver signing up for these ads simply get one-star ratings from their riders and risk being kicked off the service as a result?

      • If the content wins over enough riders and drivers earn a lot from it, unlike the yellow cabs, it could work.

        I understand it’s a 60/40 ad revenue split to the drivers, but it’s not a lot in absolute terms to start.

        “Uber and Lyft drivers, who have complained about shrinking incomes in recent years, will earn about $100 to $200 per month from the screens — but that could go up, Bellefuille said.”

  3. There’s only one preschool on Church Street with a fraction of the number of students who enter school on Warren Street in BPC…that’s the problem.

  4. Re: Staten Island Express Bus Routes. This is such a terrible idea, routing 6-12 buses an hour during rush hour through predominately residential streets where there are entrances to Asphalt Green, an elementary school and a middle school. Those streets are sufficiently congested with school buses and other traffic in the mornings.

    It would seem to make so much more sense to have the buses turn from West to Vesey to North End then back out on Murray streets, basically a circle around Goldman and a block closer to Brookfield. If this is a drop-off/pick-up, most of these commuters are likely working in the offices around there in any event.