Monopolizing Mobilities: The Data Politics of Ride-hailing Platforms in US Cities
This paper investigates ride-hailing companies’ resistance to data sharing. Such resistance serves the strategic goals of prolonging monopoly status and slowing regulation for maximum capital extraction, but we argue that it also performs a more insidious function of entrenching platform practices and logics, making alternatives difficult to imagine or implement. Against this backdrop, we explore the notion of a “data commons” approach to transportation management.
CITATION: Monahan, Torin. 2020. Monopolizing Mobilities: The Data Politics of Ride-hailing Platforms in US Cities. Telematics and Informatics 55: 101436. doi: 10.1016/j.tele.2020.101436.
Recoding the City: Cultural Mediation of Short-term Rental Platforms in the US
While many Airbnb and industry advocates emphasize ‘authentic’ cultural experiences and the support of local economies, less obvious are the ways that such platforms can erode communities by transforming homes into hotels and neighbors into strangers. This paper explores the labor dimensions of short-term-rental platforms and the ways that communities combat destructive platform configurations.
CITATION: Monahan, T. 2021. Recoding the City: Cultural Mediation of Short-term Rental Platforms in the US. Cultural Studies 35 (4/5): 946-967.
Transit's Downward Spiral: Assessing the Social-justice Implications of Ride-hailing Platforms and COVID-19 for Public Transportation in the US
This paper explores threats to public transportation by ride-hailing platforms and the COVID-19 pandemic in large US cities. Many public transportation systems are encountering a downward spiral with reduced ridership and loss of fare-based revenue. This downward spiral negatively impacts the most vulnerable and disempowered in society, raising social justice concerns. Ride-hailing and transit partnerships, such as a Boston-based pilot project to provide paratransit services for people with disabilities, point to possibilities for complementary arrangements moving forward, but they remain constrained by their industry-focused market models.
CITATION: Monahan, T., & Lamb, C.G. 2022. Transit’s Downward Spiral: Assessing the Social-justice Implications of Ridehailing Platforms and COVID-19 for Public Transportation in the US. Cities 120: 103438.
Coding Out Justice: Digital Platforms’ Enclosure of Public Transit in Cities
This paper argues that when platform companies like Uber partner with cities to enfold public transit options into their apps, they establish themselves as obligatory passage points for individuals seeking city information or accessing city services. In the process, private platforms become the interfaces through which people experience the city and themselves in it. Platform enclosure of this sort threatens the long-term viability of urban transit systems and their capacity to provide equitable service.
CITATION: Monahan, Torin. (in press). Coding out Justice: Digital Platforms’ Enclosure of Public Transit in Cities. In Digital (in)Justice in the Smart City, edited by R. Burns, V. Fast and D. Mackinnon. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
The Image of the Smart City: Surveillance Protocols and Social Inequality
Under the banner of “smart cities,” regional governments around the world are embracing distributed sensor networks, video surveillance, and predictive analytics in hopes of solving a wide range of urban problems. Rather than view such developments as neutral, this chapter probes their underlying politics and ask what kinds of worlds are being created in the name of efficiency, economic growth, or security.
CITATION: Monahan, Torin. 2018. The Image of the Smart City: Surveillance Protocols and Social Inequality. In Handbook of Cultural Security, edited by Y. Watanabe. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 210-226.
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