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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.