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With Uber’s Cars, Maybe We Don’t Need Our Own - NYTimes.com
JUNE 11, 2014 | NYT |Farhad Manjoo.

Uber is anything but trivial. It could well transform transportation the way Amazon has altered shopping — by using slick, user-friendly software and mountains of data to completely reshape an existing market, ultimately making many modes of urban transportation cheaper, more flexible and more widely accessible to people across the income spectrum.

Uber could pull this off by accomplishing something that has long been seen as a pipe dream among transportation scholars: It has the potential to decrease private car ownership....There’s only one problem with taxis: In most American cities, Dr. King found, there just aren’t enough of them. Taxi service is generally capped by regulation, and in many cities the number of taxis has not been increased substantially in decades, despite a vast increase in the number of miles people travel. In some places this has led to poor service: In the San Francisco survey, for instance, one out of four residents rated the city’s taxi service as “terrible.”

Ride-sharing services solve this problem in two ways. First, they substantially increase the supply of for-hire vehicles on the road, which puts downward pressure on prices. As critics say, Uber and other services do this by essentially evading regulations that cap taxis. This has led to intense skirmishes with regulators and questions over who has oversight to maintain the safety of the blossoming new industry.
Uber  sharing_economy  taxis  transportation  Farhad_Manjoo  ownership  end_of_ownership  on-demand  accessibility  automobile 
june 2014 by jerryking
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