Archive | Economics

Rent in San Francisco is $4,314; in Minneapolis, it’s $1,615

I recently reviewed a commercial real estate report from the first half of this year. Takeaway: Vacancy is steady at around 7 to 8 percent. The report got me thinking about home prices and rental rates across the country and what the humble dollar gets you in different cities. Check out all the Zillow data […]

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Lime Quietly Raises Prices on Scooter Rentals

Recently, Lime increased its pricing in Minneapolis and St. Paul from $1 plus 15 cents per minute to $1 plus 20 cents per minute. For a typical five-minute ride, this increases the total cost by 14 percent, from $1.75 to $2 even. For a longer ride of 10 minutes, the increase is 20 percent. Rival […]

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Predictions on the Future of Mobility

I was reflecting on the May 8 Chart of the Day post on micro-mobility that mapped the middle 68 percentile of trips for 18 modes of transportation, and I collected a few thoughts on the future of mobility. I have written several posts recently on bike share, ride share, and electric scooters, the rented side […]

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It’s Impossible to Afford Rent on the Minimum Wage

Minneapolis and St. Paul both recently passed municipal minimum wage ordinances that were intended to lift up the working poor. In Minneapolis, the current minimum wage is $11.25 for large businesses, and that is scheduled to increase to $15.00 by July 1, 2022. The current minimum wage in St. Paul is the state minimum of […]

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How TIF Can Solve a Market Failure in Minneapolis

I wrote an earlier post that explains what TIF is and how it works. Click through and read it here. In any community, we put things we want in plans. We want good jobs for the people who live here. We want homes people can afford to rent and buy. We want polluted land cleaned […]

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As Lyft and Uber Go Public, the Future of Mobility Remains Up for Grabs

On April 11, Uber registered for an initial public offering of stock (IPO) with the government. As part of that filing, the company revealed more about its financials than is required by law. The document gives an insight into Uber’s business challenges and the evolving market of rented mobility. Included on page 3 of Uber’s […]

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Whole Foods Just Lowered Prices, Just a Little

Whole Foods announced recently that they were planning on reducing prices store-wide as part of Amazon’s campaign to combat the image of a “Whole paycheck” grocery store. The Whole Foods media release gloated, “Starting Wednesday, customers will find new lower prices on hundreds of items throughout the store with an emphasis on high quality, peak-of-season […]

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FAQ: Tax Increment Financing

The recent Seward Commons debate highlighted an important discussion about how the city uses Tax Increment Financing, or TIF. It’s one of the few financial tools cities have and control fully. But it’s not broadly understood. So what is TIF and how does it work? What has Minneapolis used it for in the past? What […]

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Lime, Bird, and Spin Set to Ride in St. Paul

City staff have selected electric scooter network operators Lime, Bird, and Spin for the 2019 season, and the City Council will decide whether to approve those contracts at its Wednesday, April 24, meeting. Read the agenda for the meeting. All three vendors are based in California. Lime (the brand of Neutron Holdings Inc.) is based […]

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Reader Survey Results: Economics of Amtrak from Minneapolis to Duluth

On March 27, we posted about the numbers surrounding the proposed $600 million investment to bring Amtrak rail service along a corridor between Minneapolis and Duluth. Many of you shared your stories of rail and bus travel, and many expressed a deep appreciation for the comfort and conveniences of travel by rail. To learn more, I created a […]

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