What We Got Wrong About Uber and Lyft

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Uber and some transportation experts once predicted that getting a ride with the tap of the app would help reduce traffic and increase riders’ use of public transport.

Instead, The opposite happened.

I mentioned in A recent newspaper. I wanted to go a little deeper today to see what went wrong with the promise of an on-demand ride and what we can learn from it. How can we believe that technology will help solve big problems if Uber’s great promise is not fulfilled?

Here’s more research: On-demand ride services have been a major factor in the last few years Increased traffic In American cities, especially in big-city cities. And most of the research is showing that there is also an important reason for the decline in ride services Public transport rides, Specially buses.

Uber and Lyft have stated that the people driving are themselves Biggest source of traffic. This is true, but it does not explain the increase in traffic that services have added to cities.

What went wrong? Gregory D. Irhart, Who analyzed transportation modeling systems at the University of Kentucky, told me that companies and some transportation experts incorrectly stated how ride services would be used.

The theory of on-demand rides was that they would be like carpooling. As people went to work, they would take an extra person or two along – and some money. But Uber and Lyft turned out to be taxis.

Uber and Lyft, as they expanded, focused on dense urban areas, where there were plenty of potential drivers and riders. But there too, drivers are spending a large portion of their work hours without rent and roaming the streets, Drs. Erhart said. The combination of all these factors was more miles across many large and corridor cities. (Dr. Erhardt and his colleagues are publishing additional soon The research Under the influence of ride hail services in approximately 250 US metropolitan areas.)

Dr. Erhart and I spoke to this audacity over three lessons. First, Uber and Lyft need to share their data so that cities can understand the impact of services on the roads. Second, public officials need to drive transport policy to encourage supportive behavior and limit destructive ones. And third, the new technology needs railing in place – and perhaps needs to be installed before its effects become apparent.

The first point is that Uber and Lyft, who go to keep some information as people travel and spend time, need to share information with cities and researchers. Dr. “Cities are working hard and there is a strong case that we should be able to use this data for planning and research purposes,” Erhart said.

His second point was about encouragement. Some cities, including New York and Chicago, have added fees on Uber and Lyft rides so that it is more expensive to drive without passengers or to rent in dense urban centers. This essentially forces commuters and companies to reduce trips that can reduce congestion and pollution.

Perhaps you are wondering, if Uber and Lyft are convenient, why stand in their way? This is reasonable, but people use taxes and subsidies to encourage them to quit smoking or buy homes. Transport that works for all is not done on its own. “Designing the right structures matters,” Dr. Erhart said.

And the third point is that policy makers may have to work quickly to apply new rules and requirements to new technologies. They did not do so when Uber and Lyft came together – as companies fought regulation and services were popular.

But the impact of ride services suggests that emerging transport, including driverless cars, may require regulations as early as possible to ensure that collective profit promises do not become mirage.

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Tip of the week

Planning a trip soon? (I hope so!) Brian x. ChainThe personal technology columnist at The New York Times talks to us through the process of downloading the map to our phones for moments when we may not have an internet connection.

With spring break – and vaccines! – For those of us, a lot of you are probably planning a road trip. Add this task to your to-do list: Download an offline map to your destination.

With offline maps, you store mapping data for your chosen destination on your smartphone. If you drive somewhere with poor cell reception, your map app will still be able to show you direction. This can come in handy when you visit a national park with a very patchy reception, for example, and need to find your hotel or a hiking spot.

Here’s how to download offline maps with Google Maps on iPhones and Android devices:

* Open Google Maps app. Find the place you plan to visit. I will use Yosemite National Park as my example.

* At the bottom of the screen, tap on Yosemite National Park. Then tap on the More button. It is an icon of three dots in the upper right hand corner.

* Select the option to “Download Offline Map”. Zoom your fingers in or out simultaneously or separately and select the map area you want to save. Tap on download.


  • Meaning behind the Amazon election: Warehouse workers in Alabama are completing a vote on what may be the first Amazon union in the United States. My partners Karen Weisz and Michael Corkery To write How will the counting of elections work and what is at stake in the election.

  • Never tweeted Recomputed Reported The Amazon computer security engineer thought that the company’s tweets spearheading members of Congress were so unusual that they could be a cyber attack. No. Jeff Bezos wanted strong pushback for criticizing the company.

  • Click on the online news and click below: India has a relatively new generation of unhappy, online-focused news outlets Opposed the government’s campaign against dissatisfaction. My colleagues Mujib Mashal and Hari Kumar say that the new rules can curb them now.

check out This bird is strutting confidently – Sashan, indeed. (And scroll down to see all the people who set the music to our avian friend) in such a way.) For bird behavior experts: What is happening here?


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