Uber, Bike-Share and More Are Factors in Tomorrow’s Transit Agency

Uber, Bike-Share and More Are Factors in Tomorrow’s Transit Agency

BY JOSH COHEN SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 In St. Petersburg, Florida — a city of about 257,000 residents sitting on the Gulf Coast next to Tampa — people have just a few options for getting around town. They can, of course, drive personal cars, walk or bike; catch a bus operated by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA); or hire taxis and Ubers. From February to August this year, the last mode choice on that list was likely the cheapest, most efficient option for accessing the bus. In an effort to encourage transit ridership and alleviate the impact of service cuts brought on by budget woes, PSTA was subsidizing 50 percent of the cost of taking rides with Uber, United Taxi (the local cab company) or Care Ride (a paratransit service) if those rides were connecting to the bus. That sort of partnership between public transit agency and ride-hailing company isn’t yet common, but examples are popping up around the country as cash-strapped municipalities look for ways to supplement their bus and rail routes and better serve low-density areas with so-so transit ridership. Those in favor of the arrangement say taking advantage of new technologies and service providers is a win-win for forward-looking transit agencies. Skeptics caution that the things that make companies such as Uber and Lyft profitable are incompatible with transit agencies’ obligation to provide quality, convenient, equitable service. To read the full article, visit:...
Car sharing on campuses improves quality of life, takes cars off the road

Car sharing on campuses improves quality of life, takes cars off the road

By Andy Murdock, UC Newsroom Friday, September 2, 2016 You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why UC Berkeley has designated parking areas for Nobel Laureates: if there’s one thing harder to snag than a Nobel prize, it’s a parking space on a UC campus. This is not just a UC issue: The experience of parking on college campuses across the country can often involve circling and circling in hopes of finding someone leaving, expensive permits or parking meters, or long walks from distant overflow lots. “Traffic and the lack of parking are growing problems on college and university campuses as student car owners continue to outnumber available parking,” said Susan Shaheen, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC). To read the full article, visit:...
Google Is Driving a Blurry Line With Waze Carpool Pilot

Google Is Driving a Blurry Line With Waze Carpool Pilot

By: Katy Steinmetz Aug. 31, 2016 When news broke that Google has been pilot testing a ride-sharing program through the Waze app, some were surprised to read that the company “doesn’t plan to vet” drivers. Instead the company would depend on a user-review system, as the pilot expands around San Francisco. But how is that possible, when competitors like Uber and Lyft have to do background checks on their drivers and many city officials have insisted that they should be fingerprinting them too? The answer is that there is a legal distinction between what Uber and Lyft do and what transportation experts call “true ride-sharing.” And there are hints that Google has been taking pains to make their pilot look like the latter. To read the full article,...
The speed bumps on the road to the self-driving car future

The speed bumps on the road to the self-driving car future

STEVE MERTL Apr. 26, 2016 A sense of inevitability has set in around the introduction of automated vehicles (AVs). Some automation, such as automatic emergency braking and lane-departure correction, is already available on many cars. Tesla’s Model S even offers a fairly advanced auto-pilot feature. The idea of driverless cars makes enthusiasts queasy but proponents say safety, environmental and economic benefits will become obvious so quickly that the adoption rate will outstrip even that of information technology. To read the full article, visit:...
How the Daily Commute Is Going to Change

How the Daily Commute Is Going to Change

By ALEJANDRO LAZO April 24, 2016 The modern commute may be heading for a big upgrade, thanks to carpool ride-sharing services and advances in automotive electronics and smart transportation systems. Ride-sharing firms Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. are experimenting with carpooling services that are changing how people get to work. Both companies, best known for providing a fleet of private drivers that can be matched to individual passengers through their smartphones, have introduced technology that groups strangers as passengers—thus saving commuters money—by using algorithms that match distances and times of trips with other people going to similar places or in similar directions. Read the full article at:...