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wascilly_wabbit t1_jb1o9ml wrote

Why aren't taxicab trips counted as car trips?


N8CCRG t1_jb1tft3 wrote

Yeah, that immediately caught my eye as well. Looking at the paper those appear to be separate, unrelated ideas, that look related when placed together in the title (which comes from the abstract, so no blame on OP there). The paper is merely tracking all of the different types of travel and breaking that data down all sorts of different ways. These two statements come from the Conclusion section:

>For the whole U.S., the share of automobile travel dropped from 86.4 % in 2001 to 83.6 % in 2009 and further to 82.6 % in 2017.

And then later:

>In addition, we also see an increase in the share of taxicabs, which rose from 0.1 % in 2001 to 0.2 % in 2009 and 0.6 % in 2017.

So, it appears like it's not just a case of people switching from private automobile to taxicab.


goliath1333 t1_jb3wf5w wrote

Taxi/rideshare also require less parking. The typical car requires 2-3 spaces because people need one at their home and destination. Spreading that out across many people via taxi/rideshare means we need less parking, and instead can have green space or housing.


ssnover95x t1_jb3yq38 wrote

It does contribute to congestion however which slows mode's of transit which need to use the road (EMTs, buses).


Lesurous t1_jb440ry wrote

Less vehicles on the road wouldn't slow emergency vehicles.


Agasthenes t1_jb4j5jx wrote

But these aren't less vehicles on the road. Instead of driving from destination to destination taxi services need to drive to pickup points, Wich adds another trip.

They reduce parking but not the number of vehicles on the road.


Isord t1_jb4pcv3 wrote

A single ride share can move multiple people around during the day so it can definitely still reduce the number of cars on the road, just not by as much as a bus or train.


970 t1_jb4zkzn wrote

Does your Uber or taxi driver pick up others when you are using them?


Isord t1_jb55mqa wrote

No, but whereas you may have had multiple cars being brought into any one area from people going shopping etc, it's possible a single Uber may shuttle multiple people into one area over time.

Probably matters more for places where you have a lot of traffic from outside the city into the city being replaced by ubers/taxis than driving around within the city, and it's far eclipsed by the efficiency of actual public transportation of course.


cordialcatenary t1_jb55jiw wrote

Yes, if you have that setting turned on and are in a market in which Uberpool is present.


burnerman0 t1_jb5qj8c wrote

Less cars compared to everyone driving themselves, but more miles driven by cars because that one car needs to commute between dropoff of one person and the pickup of the next.


juntoalaluna t1_jb62flb wrote

In some situations, a big chunk of traffic is people looking for parking. You don’t need to reduce the number of vehicles very much to significantly reduce the amount of traffic.

I think the best example of this is SFPark, where parking prices were (are?) managed to maintain 60-80% parking occupancy. People being able to park easily reduces congestion.

It’s obviously not a perfect example, as you could argue that not knowing the cost of parking is going to also reduce the number of drivers, but the study I read suggested the real benefit was from increasing parking efficiency. Taxis also increase parking efficiency by not really needing parking.

So taxis do kind of reduce the number of vehicles on the road (but obviously not as much as a bus!)


Agasthenes t1_jb6f0n5 wrote

Maybe in city centres like NY or something.

Not for normal people.


ShadowGrebacier t1_jb4las5 wrote

It does reduce number of vehicles. A person using taxi or rideshare to get everywhere is a person not using a personal car. At the very least 1 less vehicle is on the roads as a result.


bebe_bird t1_jb4x8l3 wrote

Except now you have to add in the taxi, so it's -1 for the individual car and +1 for the taxi = net 0 / no change.


burnerman0 t1_jb5quwq wrote

Except it's not a 1:1 ratio of taxi users and taxi cars. If a taxi covers the commute for 15 people in a day, then it's +1 and -15. It is less vehicles on the road. But.... It's more miles driven because the taxi has to get from fare to fare.

ETA: taxis subsidize the cost of car ownership, they don't reduce congestion.


bebe_bird t1_jb800b8 wrote

Succinctly put! The only other item to point out is that between rides/fares, the taxi then drives to the next one while the personal car is parked. So they may actually increase congestion slightly. However, I'm hoping that's minor enough that its not taken into consideration for most of these calculations!


ShadowGrebacier t1_jb50bmv wrote

The taxi already existed though, many of them being cars driven to 500,000 miles. With the proliferation and usage of rideshare and taxi the people who would be adding 1 to the total amount of cars on the road are now not, the rideshare/taxi driver, already bought in but can contribute to as many as 100 people no longer needing a personal vehicle. It's a net loss, not a net negation. At the macro level, more cars are being taken off the road by virtue of the driver who already bought in, being able to negate a need for other people to get vehicle to begin with.


Agasthenes t1_jb52wdk wrote

Cara on the road == cars on existence.

Cars on the road are cars that are driven at that point in time. Not parked cars


ssnover95x t1_jb5diqx wrote

The reality is that many cities are seeing more cars on the road due to ride share services. Ride share doesn't work if there's not some capacity existing to offer service relatively quickly when a user opens the app, so now there are lots of cars driving around looking for their next ride.


Lesurous t1_jb5t5ji wrote

True, but there's an aspect that should be included, which is taking trucks off the roads too. Live in Texas, trucks everywhere and even drive one myself, but they're not fuel efficient in comparison to a passenger car when it comes to just transporting people.


ssnover95x t1_jb5xlnd wrote

I think the best way to solve that is to start to require additional licensing and taxes to vehicles above a certain weight. Vehicles have gotten heavier to improve the safety of their occupants, but it makes all other road users less safe.

I'm not sure that vehicle type is a particularly big driver of congestion though. Their footprint compared to an SUV is not that different and SUVs are popular for ride share.


birthdaycakefig t1_jb4tsmu wrote

If cities do end up going mostly car share/taxi, there’s a ton of parking that could be new functional lanes.

Most smaller streets in Manhattan could fit 2 proper lanes and a 2 way bike lane if it weren’t for the free parking.


messopotatoesmia t1_jb4173z wrote

Except in many cities they're trying to force the issue by building housing without parking, and all it does is fill the surrounding streets with cars parking there instead of in a building.

It doesn't actually fix anything.


Commentariot t1_jb42ajt wrote

Around here the only houses without parking are at regional rail stations which are situated in walkable areas. It is totally possible to not have a car in my neighborhood.


messopotatoesmia t1_jb42z1z wrote

Lemme guess.. Young, fit, no motion disabilities, no kids, don't cook at home much?


Vitztlampaehecatl t1_jb43kzd wrote

  1. In the Netherlands, there are plenty of old people who walk or ride bikes. There is even a type of bicycle that is stereotypically for grandmas- "omafiets".

  2. If you're not fit, you can become fit by walking or riding a bike.

  3. There are plenty of disabilities that prevent you from driving, and plenty of motion-based disabilities that let you get around perfectly well with a wheelchair or an adaptive cycle.

  4. They make child seats for bicycles so you can bring along kids who are too young to ride their own bikes.

  5. I'd expect not because there are presumably a lot of good restaurants within walking distance, however, assuming there is a grocery store within walking distance (because "walkable areas" implies that everyday necessities like grocery stores are within walking distance), you can also transport groceries on foot or by bike.


messopotatoesmia t1_jb5uo7h wrote

So you're saying that everyone should ride bikes, and there's never a reason not to own one?

Edit: oh you post in r/fuckcars. Never mind - I can't expect to have a rational answer from you.


Kennethrjacobs2000 t1_jb48kg9 wrote

I'm almost 30, Obese, Cook at home, and watch my nephews regularly. I started biking for transit almost exclusively about 4 months back. Admittedly, it's a pain in the ass sometimes, because of the prevalence of black ice in the winter, lots of hills where I live, my slowly shrinking fat ass, and the beginning of urban sprawl. However, it has generally had a cascading positive effect on my life, and I would generally recommend that everyone who can should bike around as much as possible.

Electric Bikes are getting pretty inexpensive now, too. You can get one that pedal assists up to 20 mph and has saddlebags for only about $1200, so it's a good budget option instead of a car.


messopotatoesmia t1_jb5uhnr wrote

I'm going to wait on getting an ebike until I can leave it chained outside a store without expecting people to show up with bolt cutters to steal it - which is the reality for Seattle right now.

You do miss the point entirely though:

You can't take two kids to school on your ebike.

You can't ride your bike if your knees are giving out.

You can't get a week's worth of groceries for a family of five on a bike.

You can't drop kid A off at elementary school, and kid B off at middle school across town, and do the reverse before you run out of after school care, if you're on a bike.

The reality is that we need solutions that work for a variety of different people. That solution for many has to include a car, because in the US our cities are huge, and we need to get around and across them.

So while biking is great and I'm all for it, it's not a blanket solution for everyone and never will be. It's not even a blanket solution for most people - in Seattle biking drops to near zero in the winter along normal bike commuter routes. Are those people getting the bus? Maybe. Not all of them. Many of them are just taking their car in the winter.


[deleted] t1_jb5b98s wrote



messopotatoesmia t1_jb5sfu8 wrote

Try reading what I wrote again, in context.

The whole point is that walkable neighborhoods rapidly become "I need a car because..." the moment you're not a hip young urbanite without walking problems, or kids, or needing to bring groceries home to feed a family.


wascilly_wabbit t1_jb1ulyi wrote

Thanks for those details


DukeOfGeek t1_jb4a2p7 wrote

I'd be more interested in a study that showed whether car use or public transport construction had increased more.


PornCartel t1_jb4iulg wrote

Only 4 percentage points drop in 16 years. Damn. But that's better than going the other direction


TomMakesPodcasts t1_jb1rmeu wrote

Because they're more of a "public" form of transportation than private vehicles


digitalscale t1_jb22j6m wrote

But surely they're less efficient as they have to travel between jobs?

The whole point of public transport over private is that it's more economical, but a taxi has to travel further than a personal vehicle would.


Ihadanapostrophe t1_jb23w99 wrote

I believe that they are supposed to be more efficient over the lifespan of the vehicle.

Along the lines of: If each person who used a taxi had their own vehicle instead, what would that cost in total?

I agree that it's not a great 1:1 comparison, but it's a complicated area.


digitalscale t1_jb2bdkq wrote

Ah OK, that's an interesting point.

Not entirely convinced though.


ReadySte4dySpaghetti t1_jb366ce wrote

Another thing is less space taken up by parking. I forget the city, I want to say its Nashville maybe? That something insane, like close to 50%, of all the space in the city is parking.

I guess it would cut down on the total traffic, because the total amount of cars in the circulation of traffic would be lower. Because if multiple people/parties can use the same car throughout the day, it would mean that they don’t individually have to drive.

I think the better option is generally busses/trams/trains, because they do the same thing with more people, and the last mile can be done walking, cycling, etc. with some taxis and cars for elderly or carrying loads or whatever.


Ihadanapostrophe t1_jb2gl7o wrote

Speaking from personal experience (so anecdotal): I live in a city that has atrocious public transportation and is unsafe to walk/bike in for much of the year (due to heat). My wife and I have one car, but we've had to use taxis and such when the need arises.

If we didn't have that option, we'd have to have a second car. There aren't really other feasible possibilities.


realbakingbish t1_jb39vy7 wrote

> a city that has atrocious public transportation and is unsafe to walk/bike in for much of the year (due to heat).

What’s sad is how many cities that could describe. I thought Orlando immediately (because that’s home for me), but that could describe so many cities in the US and that’s incredibly sad


Ihadanapostrophe t1_jb3d8xd wrote

That's why I tried to be a bit vague. It's actually Phoenix.


nyanlol t1_jb3fnew wrote

see I immediately assumed you meant Phoenix although I don't know why


Ihadanapostrophe t1_jb3mega wrote

Pretty sure we have "King of the Hill" to thank for that.

>Phoenix is a monument to man's arrogance.

Because it is. And the state is rapidly becoming concerning politically. Look at the environmental damage Doug Ducey did with his "wall".


messopotatoesmia t1_jb41dhj wrote

Except that other option has existed for decades... So I'm not sure why it's suddenly considered advantageous.


justcurious12345 t1_jb3r9rj wrote

For something like the airport, there's probably passengers coming and going, so that's more efficient. Plus fewer people parking at the airport, riding the shuttle to the gates, etc


Rentun t1_jb56at3 wrote

Taxis are more efficient than cars generally. Drivers try to maximize their earning time, so they don’t usually spend a whole lot of time driving between rides. They’ll pick someone up from the airport, drive them to town, then drive someone from town back to the airport. It’s rare they’ll go to the airport, pick someone up, then drive them to town and then go back to the airport looking for another fare.

The main reason private cars are so damn inefficient isn’t only because you’re moving 4000 lbs of steel glass and plastic for a single person, but also because you’re spending a shitload of energy producing those 4000 lbs a for something that spends 95% of its useful life sitting in a driveway or parking garage. Things that don’t get used are wasteful by definition.


MRCHalifax t1_jb4ikin wrote

In London in the 1850s, there were about 10,000 private carriages for a population of about 1,000,000. Basically 1% of the population had a private vehicle, everyone else walked, took the omnibus, used river boats, took the train, or hired a cab. History pretty clearly shows it’s possible to have a populous city without everyone having their own personal transport, and being able to hail a cab is part of that.


Rentun t1_jb57669 wrote

In modern Manhattan, only 20% of households own a private vehicle.

The choices people make about their transportation has very little to do with individual preferences, and instead very much to do with how cities build their infrastructure to incentivize certain modes of transit.

In reality, there are very, very few people that are driving enthusiasts, or train enthusiastsor cycling enthusiasts.

Most people, and by most, I mean like 95%+ people will just use whatever mode is the best combination of fastest, most convenient, cheapest, and safest, usually in that order of importance.

Unfortunately in the US, in most places, private cars beat public transit or walking in the first two categories every time, so much so that the last two categories are barely even a consideration.


citybuildr t1_jb2k7s9 wrote

If you're looking at just the cost of driving it, yeah. But the space in cities reserved for parking has a huge societal cost.

Taxis and rideshares take up very little parking because they're more often on the move (at least 40 hours per week), and when they park it's generally at either the home of the driver or a designated lot somewhere not central enough to have high land value.

Personal cars are only in use about 10 hours a week on average (and median is probably 6 hours a week), meaning they need storage the other 96% of the time. But not just one storage spot: one at home, one at work, one at stores, one at restaurants. In the US there are about 8 parking spots per car, and that doesn't include non-restricted residential parking (your driveway or yard, as compared to an apartment complex with a set number of spaces). The main solution here is to reduce or abolish parking minimums because most of these parking spots are empty most of the time, and even big lots at malls aren't full during holiday shopping, and unfortunately even places whose clientele doesn't arrive by car are often mandated to provide parking. But for every personal car given up where the owner uses rideshares and taxis, they're saving the need for about 8 parking spots overall (ok, really like 3, and the other 5 should never have existed anyway).

In theory, rideshares would require commercial drivers licenses, and therefore a higher bar of competency than we see today. Changing from personal driving to rideshares would reduce crashes, injuries and deaths, as a larger percentage of all drivers would be better trained. But honestly, all driving requirements for everyone should be higher. It's terrifying how little competence is required to be a licensed driver.


digitalscale t1_jb2oeej wrote

Thanks, I hadn't really considered the more abstract impacts,but the infrastructure necessary to support personal vehicles vs taxis is a very interesting point.


messopotatoesmia t1_jb41iq7 wrote

8 per car? I'm calling shenanigans, because you're assuming those spots are "reserved" for each user, which is frankly BS.


citybuildr t1_jb51upk wrote

8 is the upper end of the estimate. Of course they're not actually reserved. But the US has parking minimums that require a parking spot per area of a business (ratio depends on type of business). Many businesses will threaten to tow your car if you park there and aren't a customer (as with everything, enforcement varies). So in essence they are reserved. Most workplaces have employee lots with enough parking for all their employees to drive alone. In rural areas, this is a reasonable assumption. In urban areas, it is not. (Well, actually most urban areas in the US still have a driving mode share of 90% or higher, so it is a reasonable assumption, but it really shouldn't be, given how inefficient cars are.)


messopotatoesmia t1_jb5t26e wrote

Again, you're making weird statements. Businesses have parking based on how busy they are, not based on the total size of the car-owning population. That's dumb.

Also many of these studies use computer-based ai systems that - at least in my neighborhood - treat playing fields and back alleys and the roofs of hospitals as parking structures, so I wouldn't trust those estimates.

Try about 2.5x for older cities) geographically constrained ones. In the south you might see different densities.


citybuildr t1_jb5wyxa wrote

>Businesses have parking based on how busy they are,

Not really, no. Businesses are required to have minimum numbers of parking spots based on the square footage of the business, and a ratio determined by business type. A big box store in Tulsa needs at least 2.5 parking spots per 1,000 square feet of retail space source. That's about 500 square feet for the parking space and the adjacent aisle space, for every 1,000 feet of retail space.

In many cities, even a bar needs a parking space for every 100 square feet of interior space. A standard parking spot is bigger than that. And that's a bar, a place where people are expected to drink and therefore probably shouldn't be driving, and yet more space is devoted to parking than to the bar itself. Parking minimums are a huge waste of space.

In that first link, you'll find an analysis of parking spaces at a mall in Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. Less than half the spots are used. So the parking lot could be half the size and still do its job. But because of parking minimums, we require that space to be wasted (and worse, covered in impermeable asphalt and prevents drainage and contributes to the urban heat island).

>Try about 2.5x for older cities) geographically constrained ones.

This is probably more accurate for older cities, I agree. Especially as older cities also tend to not have parking minimums for most of the dense parts, and most of these cities are more walkable and have better transit, so cars aren't required. And yet, that's still a lot of space. If every parking spot is 16'x8' (standard for a lot but on-street parking is usually about 13x6), that's 320 square feet for each car. The average person lives in about 450 square feet of space. Our cars need almost as much space as we do, that's absurd.


KingPictoTheThird t1_jb40f9e wrote

In dense areas, cabs travel quite short distances to their next customer, or they are simply hailed on the street itself as they drop off their customer.

Further, "efficiency" can mean a lot of things. Private automobiles spend most of their lives parked. Parking takes up a huge amount of space. "Sharing" a car through a taxi also means fewer cars need to exist, as the car is being constantly used instead of parked. This reduces the total number of cars needed in existence, which is efficient in another way.


messopotatoesmia t1_jb41ktz wrote

And yet when you do the math they increase carbon emissions in every city where they're popular - such as Seattle and San Francisco.


KingPictoTheThird t1_jb427yp wrote

Did you even read what I wrote? Higher cab usage can lead to lower car ownership which means fewer cars manufactured. Manufacturing a car creates a lot of carbon emissions. In American cities, cabs seem to have mostly replaced transit trips rather than private vehicular trips. That's why you see the increase in carbon emissions. This is because our cities are so designed around cars that traveling by car, whether it is your own private vehicle or a cab, is much faster. Until that is changed, cars, whether private or taxi service, will continue to be the favored mode of transportation. All rideshare services did was lower the bar for traveling by car.


messopotatoesmia t1_jb432fb wrote

Yes, I did. And I'm telling you that they increase total CO2 emissions where they're introduced.


KingPictoTheThird t1_jb43vhg wrote

Yes I got that, but those emissions don't factor in manufacturing. I also told you why in the case of American cities they aren't effective forms of reducing emissions.


Commentariot t1_jb42f8r wrote

They do not increase carbon more than adding all the cars they replace.


ThellraAK t1_jb4hdp5 wrote

Would be interested to see what that would look like in towns that weren't laid out for everyone having a car.


messopotatoesmia t1_jb5tfds wrote

How would you change it? Remember that deliveries and emergency vehicles and buses still need to get around or it's pointless - which means that in many cases you're still looking at 3-4 lane arterials at a minimum.


messopotatoesmia t1_jb41alx wrote

Yep, and many cities have done the analysis to show that it creates way more car emissions than private vehicles because of that behavior, but for some reason it's considered more "green" by many politicians, which is pants-on-head stupid.


OnIowa t1_jb3w9nk wrote

I think it depends on how efficient they are at finding work close by to where their previous job ended. If that's done efficiently, I think it's a net gain just by reducing the number of cars that are out taking up space.


Andodx t1_jb3zif0 wrote

Because the taxi is a form of public transport, in contrast to a privately owned car or a limousine service.


iceyed913 t1_jb2duhe wrote

because they are counted as taxicab trips. just add up the numbers if it bothers you


maxToTheJ t1_jb3dmtx wrote

Its more environmentally friendly to have a car driving around on the hopes of going on a trip


messopotatoesmia t1_jb413nd wrote

God knows. They contribute far more to carbon emissions than the equivalent privately owned vehicle, because they drive around circling all day.