Cities around the country are improving accessibility for low income people to use electric cars through car sharing programs.
Some of you may have noticed the discussion coming out of the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin earlier this month, about how so many attendees arrived in town expecting to use Uber or Lyft to get around but discovered both have been banned from the city. The stories and tweets poured in from frustrated people trying to figure out how to navigate a big city without their ridesharing lifeline they’d gotten so accustomed to having.
The Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California—Davis conducted a survey on three major mobility trends: autonomous, electrified, and shared-use. The majority of survey participants believe that driverless vehicles will make up over 20 percent of the vehicles purchased in the US by 2040.
After raising more than $1 billion in venture capital, transit startup Grab is introducing private buses in to compete with Uber in Southeast Asia. Their “Grab Coaches” are initially available in Singapore, and are targeted to large groups that would need multiple standard vehicles. It’s interesting to see new ride-sharing options starting to pop up around the world, and Grab still has a lot of room to expand further.
While everybody seems to be talking about the approaching reality of self-driving cars, some are looking a little further over the horizon to a topic of even more sci-fi dreams over the years — flying cars. Will they happen? Some major technology companies are putting a big bet on the answer being Yes, and Uber is joining that group.
The Rocky Mountain Institute thinks we’re on our way to “peak car” soon, and car buying is going to start declining by 2020. They cite factors like economic benefits to not owning a car, electric vehicle ownership growing, and the number of car-free Americans continuing to go up. And, of course, expanding transit systems and ride-sharing services are a big part of reaching this goal.
At Routematch, we’re all about encouraging multi-modal trips, whether that’s via trains, buses and paratransit vehicles, or car sharing and bikes. With bicycles, they not only have the advantage of being good exercise, but they’re efficient, zero-emission transportation that takes another car off the road. But sometimes, it can be difficult to read bicycle path maps for a city and get a feel for the path they’re following.
As city populations grow and people — along with businesses — demand more transportation options, many automobile companies are starting to plan for what the future might bring with their business. At Ford, CEO Mark Fields is looking 15 to 20 years ahead, and he isn’t seeing automobiles as being a major part of the urban transportation landscape. He says Ford needs to adjust its thinking, and invest in new technology to remain a player in the industry.
While public transit agencies have often partnered with employee benefits firms like WageWorks and Zenefits in order to allow employees to pay for their commutes with pre-tax dollars, it’s only recently that ride-sharing services are starting to jump into the fray as well. Lyft has rolled out this benefit, starting in New York, Boston, Miami, and Seattle, and the company is hoping to expand out to more cities. Lyft is hoping to attract more riders to the service through the program.