29 December 2017

The New York Times: “Your Uber Car Creates Congestion. Should You Pay a Fee to Ride?”

About 103,000 for-hire vehicles operate in the city, more than double the roughly 47,000 in 2013, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Of those, 68,000 are affiliated with ride-hailing app companies, including 65,000 with Uber alone, though they may also provide rides for others. In contrast, yellow taxis are capped by city law at just under 13,600.

Now a new report finds that ride-hailing cars are often driving on the city’s busiest streets with no passengers — in effect, creating congestion without any benefits. The report by Bruce Schaller, a former city transportation official, found that more than a third of ride-hailing cars and yellow taxis are empty at any given time during weekdays in Manhattan’s main business district.

Winnie Hu

More evidence that ride-sharing is inefficient and increases congestion instead of easing it – and the same argument can be made about autonomous cars. The solution to slow traffic will never be ‘more cars on the roads’, but instead better public transport infrastructure.

New York streets congestion
The ride-hailing cars average 11 minutes of unoccupied time — compared with eight minutes for yellow taxis — in between dropping off one passenger and picking up another, according to a new report. Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

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