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The future of transportation, delivered weekly, with original journalism on mobility topics and summaries of stories you need to know.
The future of transportation, delivered weekly, with original journalism on mobility topics and summaries of stories you need to know.
59 backers pledged $15,800 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$15,800

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BREAKING NEWS: An anonymous donor has offered to pledge up to $4,000. But we need to raise the rest to get to our goal. Please pledge NOW and join the smart people who want to know more about the future of transportation. 

Driverless cars. Electric cars. Dedicated bus routes. Streetcars. Bike lanes. Walkable downtowns.

All over America, the transportation landscape is changing, and people are fascinated by what may lie ahead (like Volkswagen's electric Microbus, pictured above.)

But, it's still difficult to find the information you need to know what's coming next. Some news outlets cover cars. Others cover technology. Rarely does one cover both. And there hasn't been much coverage of how all these new transportation trends on the places where we live.

That's this journalism project comes in.

 

Curbing Cars is asking for your help to launch The Curbing Cars Newsletter. We want to make it easy for you to find out about the future of transportation, and everything that will mean.

What exactly will I be funding?

We plan to publish a weekly newsletter, with original journalism content in every issue. We think a newsletter is the best format to serve our audience, which is passionate about everything to do with the way we get around, but doesn't have time to go hunting for information.

Every week, the newsletter will lead off with an original story about a mobility topic.

There will be interviews with key players, visits to places with new mobility ideas, and test drives of the vehicles people are talking about, like the electric 2CV that you see here. You'll be first to hear about stories that we know you'll want to share with like-minded people (and won't you look smart when you do so?)

The Curbing Cars newsletter also will alert you to need-to-know stories and events in the mobility world, with everything from auto show coverage to new transportation projects and changes underway in cities and neighborhoods.

As backers, you will get your newsletter ahead of our public subscription list, and as fresh content is posting on CurbingCars.com. You'll have our scoops first, giving you time to digest and share them.

What's Your Track Record?

The original Curbing Cars journalism project was oversubscribed in 2013, thanks to our 124 backers.

It project resulted in our our eBook, Curbing Cars: America's Independence From The Auto Industry, published by FORBES in 2014. It is the most successful eBook of any that FORBES has published.

We alerted readers that attitudes towards automobiles were changing, especially among younger consumers. We predicted that the growth of Uber and ZipCar, and discussed how they could change the way cities looked. We talked about how lifestyles were changing, as the country became less dependent on individually owned cars.

 

 

Who am I funding?

Curbing Cars' creator is Micheline Maynard -- or as some viewers of PBS NewsHour call her, "The Car Lady." Micki has been writing and broadcasting about the automobile and airline industries for a long time, and she's always been on the lookout for new ideas and trends.

You might remember her ground-breaking 2003 book, The End Of Detroit: How The Big Three Lost Their Grip On The American Car Market, which saw the automakers' financial crisis coming years before it happened.

Relying on the same instincts that helped her spot the looming financial demise in Detroit, she spotted the evolving shift in transportation while she was Detroit Bureau Chief for the New York Times.

You might have read a recent Times story about the way people view their views. Well, here's one of her first stories from 2009 about how people were rethinking the way they got around, called "Happiness Is No Longer That New Car Smell.

A few years later, she was teaching media entrepreneurship at Central Michigan University (#FireUpChips) and decided to become a media entrepreneur herself.

That led to CurbingCars.com, and the Kickstarter that produced the Curbing Cars eBook.

She's continued to write and talk about key topics in the media and in transportation, for  Forbes and programs such as NPR's Here & Now, where she spent the 2016 election campaign as senior editor.

Here are some of Micki's recent stories and broadcasts.

PBS Newshour:  The New Challenges Facing Newsrooms

NPR's Here & Now: The Test Track For The Car Of The Future

Texas Standard: Pressuring Car Companies To Manufacture In The U.S.

And here are some links to stories about the issues covered in the Curbing Cars eBook.

The Love Affair Is Over -- Micki's cover story in Columbia Journalism Review

As Americans Are Driving Less, What Does That Mean For Cities -- A discussion on NPR's Here & Now

Changing Attitudes Toward The Automobile -- As heard on WHYY's Radio Times

Why am I funding this?

Curbing Cars has always been a crowd sourced, independent project, focusing on facts and data.  We want the newsletter to continue in that tradition. We may eventually find a home with a news organization, but we'll stay focused on journalism you can't find elsewhere. 

If you follow politics or media, you know these are turbulent times. Many topics that are important to the country aren't getting the attention they deserve. Here's a way to assure that mobility does.

Many people are looking for a way to support journalism. Here's an opportunity to help an independent project report and useful information that will affect everyone in the world.

Who's backing you?

We're so grateful to have some of the smartest names in journalism among our backers. Here's a sample.

 

 

How are you spending the money?

The bigger the budget we have, the broader our journalism can be. The original Curbing Cars project focused mainly on North America. But, mobility developments are happening all over the world, from London to Copenhagen, Sao Paulo to Beijing, and of course, everything happening in the USA and Canada.

Where do I come in?

We want you to partner with us so that we can give a global view of mobility. Your funds will be spent on research and reporting, as well as creating and distributing the newsletter.

But we also want your input. You're on the front lines of the change in our society. We're interested in your personal stories about mobility, and we're happy to give you space to tell them.

Maybe you recently bought an electric car, like a Tesla or a Nissan or a Chevrolet. Perhaps you're riding your bike to work. Or, you walk or take public transportation rather than own a car at all. Perhaps your trusty Honda has close to 1 million miles.

We want to meet you, too. We plan to hold some events for backers in Ann Arbor, Chicago and Toronto, which your funding will make possible. We'll pattern them after the Issues And Ale series at Michigan Radio, where newsmakers and journalists help an audience understand important issues.

This is a big topic, so we're planning to get some reporting help. We have some talented young journalists to lined up to contribute to our project, but we don't expect them to work for free. So, you'll be helping a new generation of reporters and broadcasters learn about the future of transportation, and improve coverage for everyone.

And, some very lucky journalists will get a chance to have an edit session with Micki and our editorial team, getting story and career feedback

Thank you!

Your support is crucial to helping the Curbing Cars Newsletter come to life. Thanks for your support of our journalism -- and please tell your friends about what we're doing!

 

Risks and challenges

We think a newsletter is the best way to reach our specialized audience. But to be most effective, people need to open it and read and digest the stories that we report and curate. It's possible our audience might subscribe, but then ignore our newsletter.

Transportation remains a touchy subject for automotive and technology companies alike. Executives may not want to talk about their latest efforts. And, the projects we write about may not pan out the way their creators hope.

There's always a danger that mobility will fall off the audience's radar. After all, we're living in an era of record auto sales. Just because there are self-driving cars doesn't mean people or companies will want to use them. Maybe our topic is a fad, and not a shift. (We don't think so, but it pays to be prepared.)

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    First Look

    You know how Disney sells those early passes for its theme parks? That's what this reward gets you. As a backer, you get delivery of the newsletter before it hits our master subscription list. You'll be commemorated in the Backers section of our inaugural issue. And, your name will be added a special "thank you" section on CurbingCars.com. Like those people up on the wall when you go to a concert.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    This Is Dedicated To The One I _________

    Our backer Katherine Lanpher suggested this idea on International Women's Day, and we're rolling it out to everyone! Dedicate your pledge to someone you love or admire. Send them congratulations on an achievement. Show them your support. We'll print your dedication in a future edition of the Curbing Cars Newsletter. (We serve the right to edit dedications). And, you'll receive the newsletter with our appreciation.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Get Up To Speed

    As soon as we're successful, we'll send you a download of the original Curbing Cars eBook from FORBES. That way, you can impress your friends as a mobility expert. You'll also get the newsletter first, and be added to our thank you section on CurbingCars.com.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Music For The Road

    Bop and roll! Or walk, or ride, or just sit staring at the wall in the dentist's office with our curated playlist in your ears. Some music that makes us think of moving and grooving. Plus the newsletter, eBook and a mention on our thank you list.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A Bumper Sticker To Be Proud Of

    Made you look, right? You'll get a bumper sticker with our newsletter logo that you can slap on your car, notebook, backpack or just be proud to own. Thank you section, eBook and newsletter, too.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Champions Of Journalism

    Trumpet fanfare! For supporting us at this three-digit level, you'll be prominently featured as a Champion of Journalism in an issue of the Curbing Cars newsletter. And, you'll be listed under this special category on the Curbing Cars website. We are the champions, my friends.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Take Good Notes

    We always keep a notebook handy, by the phone, by the bed, in our bag, in the car, because you never know when inspiration will strike! Now, you can own a snazzy (we like that word, snazzy) Curbing Cars notebook with our speeding car logo. You'll be listed in your very own category on our Web site, and you'll also get the eBook. Maybe you'll take some notes on it?

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Hang Out With Us

    A hangout request that's actually legit. Once a quarter, we'll hold a hangout for backers only via Skype, Google or conference call. Ask Micki Maynard and our team about our stories, suggest ideas, get mobility questions answered. (We reserve the right limit the number of participants from an organization, so that we don't have all motorheads or pedometrists. Yes, we made up that word.) Thank you list, eBook plus the newsletter.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Editing With The Stars

    Ever wonder, like Ray Barone's dad, if you can write? Or if your voice sounds good enough for NPR? Here's your opportunity to get some big time input. One hour, in person, or electronically with one of our editors. You bring a story or a sound file. We'll tell you how to improve your writing or broadcasting and you'll come away with inside tips on how professional journalists edit stories. Perfect for student reporters or people who just want to improve. Limited to only five people. Everybody gets the eBook, too.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Coffee With Curbing Cars

    Grab your latte or your pour over and have a seat. This reward gets you a seat at Coffee With Curbing Cars, where Micki Maynard and a special guest will discuss mobility topics. Events will begin in summer, 2017 and be held in Ann Arbor, MI., with the possibility of sessions in Chicago and Toronto. You'll leave with a limited edition Curbing Cars coffee mug, a copy of the eBook, and you'll star in our social media. (Note: you'll have to pay your own travel expenses.)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A Word From Our Sponsor

    One week's exclusive sponsorship of the Curbing Cars Newsletter. We serve the right to edit any promotional material and to make sure it does not conflict with our editorial philosophy. To be clear: you can't advertise a product in this space, and this is definitely NOT a sponsored content spot. But you can use it to connect with our audience. We'll also send you eBooks for up to 10 people.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All This, And More

    If you believe in us enough to give us $1,000, you're going to get everything we've got -- newsletter, playlist, eBook, hangout, coffee, a sponsorship -- but wait, there's more. We'll also send you an individually designed Curbing Cars tote bag, the nice canvas kind. Think of it as one-stop project shopping! And, there will be a special place on our website where people can admire you for your support of mobility journalism.

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Funding period

- (29 days)