Five stories that have North Texas talking: really old dinosaur bones are discovered in North Texas; in Dallas, Uber is beating taxis among business travelers; watch a Dallas Zoo giraffe give birth; and more.
Now more than ever, folks traveling for business are ditching the taxi and choosing Uber. The Associated Press reports: A new report out by Certify, an expense-management system, shows that 47 percent of ground transportation rides by its users in March were through Uber. That's more than tripled from the 14 percent of rides that Uber had in January 2014. In a few cities, Uber now tops taxi rides for business travelers. Uber beat out all other forms of ground transportation in Dallas, accounting for 56 percent of the rides. Certify based its findings on the 28 million trip receipts its North American clients submit each year.
“A lot of business travelers are always looking for the upgrade,” Bob Neveu, Certify president and co-founder, told KERA’s Krystina Martinez. “If they can get an Uber ride for the same amount of money and still be an expense within their company’s expense policy, people feel inclined to do so and enjoy a better class of service.”
Uber, though, isn’t dominating every metro area. New York City and Chicago still have strong taxicab cultures – taxis are “everywhere” in those cities, Neveu says. Meanwhile, Dallas’ Uber usage rate among business travelers has gone up from 27 percent to 56 percent in just a year.
“Several times I’ve been to Dallas, it seems like a less-centralized marketplace,” Neveu says. “There’s a widespread geographic area and people are taking a longer ride in ground transportation – because of that, a product like Uber is going to do so well. People are spending more time in the car and they say ‘I’d like to have upgraded service during that extended period of time.’” [KERA/Associated Press]
- Wylie Brys was just 4 when he discovered dinosaur bones last fall in Mansfield. (His dad happens to work at the Dallas Zoo.) Zoo officials worked with Southern Methodist University to remove the dinosaur. On Tuesday, Wylie presented his find to the media. What kind of dinosaur roamed this part of North Texas? A nodosaur. The Dallas Zoo says this type of dinosaur lived about 100 million years ago in the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous periods. “These plant-eaters were 15 feet long and weighed up to 2,000 pounds, with hard, scaly plates on their back,” the zoo says. “SMU scientists believe the dinosaur may have been washed to that site, which millions of years ago was underwater.” KXAS-TV (NBC 5) has more details.
- Gun measures in the Texas statehouse could pose problems with minority voters. The Texas Tribune reports: “As Republican state lawmakers move forward with legislation that would make it easier for Texans to carry guns openly, and in more places, they risk alienating black and Hispanic Texans who oppose looser gun laws at higher rates than whites. Roughly half of Hispanics and blacks support stricter gun control laws, compared with 29 percent of whites, according to a February poll by the University of Texas/Texas Tribune. For some, the GOP’s allegiance to the gun measures highlights Republicans’ ongoing challenge to balance the priorities of the party's far-right faction with its outreach to minority voters.” [Texas Tribune]
- A North Texas kid who’s battled cancer now worries about getting sick. Jude Cobler of Plano was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Each year, about 2,500 kids are diagnosed with this type of leukemia. Jude is the subject of a KERA Breakthroughs series called Growing Up After Cancer. For the past few weeks, we've taken you through Jude's journey -- from his cancer diagnosis and to his recovery. The final installment airs Wednesday on KERA 90.1 FM. Read the final story here.
- Katie, a Dallas Zoo giraffe, will soon give birth – and it’s being streamed live. Animal Planet has teamed up with the zoo to broadcast the birth. Watch the livestream here. You’re more likely to see Katie around 5 p.m., when she eats dinner and “settles in for the evening,” Animal Planet says.