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,...
Driving Down GHG Emissions with Carsharing

Driving Down GHG Emissions with Carsharing

Drive, ride or share? It’s a question more people are asking themselves as transportation options are rapidly evolving. But what does it mean for road congestion and the environment? In the first-ever North American one-way carsharing impact study, the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) reveals that car2go has a substantive impact on improving urban mobility and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To read the rest of the article, visit...
Casual Carpooling: Saving Users Time & Money

Casual Carpooling: Saving Users Time & Money

Susan Shaheen, Co-Director, Transportation Sustainability Research Center and Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley May 3, 2016 Casual carpooling is a user-run form of ridesharing in which riders connect with drivers usually nearby public transit hubs. While its exposure in the media has been limited compared to its shared-mobility counterparts like on-demand ridesharing and bikesharing, casual carpooling has been an option in some cities for more than thirty years. Despite existing for more than three decades, relatively little quantitative research has been conducted on the topic, perhaps due to casual carpooling’s informal nature. Recently, researchers at UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center set out to gain a better understanding of the user characteristics and motivations for using casual carpooling in San Francisco. To read the rest of the article, visit:...