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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.


geographresh t1_jb23gik wrote

Doesn't surprise me given the increase in average age of drivers license obtainment, as well as increasing urbanization of the country and cost of vehicle ownership.


Lyzer_In_Space t1_jb4f17d wrote

The cost especially. Sometimes I have to do a double take on exactly how much it costs me to own a vehicle


Notspherry t1_jb4rmgh wrote

This is one of the reasons good bike infrastructure is so important. A very large percentage of trips within cities are distances that are easily doable by bike. A nice electric cargo bike like an urban arrow costs 5k or so, but if it allows you to get rid of a second car it is insanely cheap to own and run.

One of the reasons that Copenhagen is a cycling city these days is that it was broke and could not afford to maintain the level of car infrastructure it needed. So they decided to encourage cycling. Basic cycling infrastructure is cheap and much more efficient than roads for cars.


LawHelmet t1_jb4shnz wrote

I used to cycle to work when work had showers that were worth a damn.

Europe’s need for space efficiency vs America’s space availability is what decimates cycling as a normal mode of transportation.

Average commute time for an American is an hour. An hour in a car in traffic, is probably 2ish hours by bike. 12-15 miles an hour over any terrain on a bike is sweating, generally, and a respectable exercise pace.

Imagine doubling your commuting time. Where’s the time come from?


No_Maines_Land t1_jb4vrzn wrote

I bike to work and metro in the winter/poor weather/don't feel like biking days. Both these methods are 50 min flat. The drive into work is 25 minutes, the drive home is 30-70 minutes.

So let's call it an extra 50 minutes to not drive. On bike, this time comes from my gym time, since I knock out some cardio. On metro this time comes from TV or reading time, since I read if I get a seat or watch TV if standing (and also sometimes sitting).


Episimian t1_jb657fn wrote

Many European cities are far less sprawling than in the US and encourage a mixed mass transit, cycling and walking commute - catch the train/tram/underground/bus for the longer part of your journey and then use a shared short rental bike to get to where you need to be. It's not perfect but it makes getting to work pretty easy where it works. Except in a Northern European winter - cycling in the pissing rain in the dark is never easy or fun.


Upstairs_Maybe_8598 t1_jb5tpc4 wrote

my electric cargo bike (radio flyer) was about $2k i believe?


Notspherry t1_jb5ympq wrote

There are definitely more budget friendly options like yours. The point I was trying to make that even a high end cargobike is a lot cheaper than even a basic car.


distortionwarrior t1_jb5711t wrote

This just encourages cost escalation and pushes the nuclear family further and further from mainstream. Nuclear family is absolutely essential for the responsible growth and sustainment of a superpower country, and forcing bicycle use is telling people they really can't have a family, or they can't work where the good jobs are, or they can't live where they can have a family because there isn't enough bedrooms or house space, and no one with a baby wants to commute hours to the daycare in a bicycle then to work. There literally isn't enough time for a busy family to fart around with making bicycles a viable primary transportation source while still being forced to have two incomes and keeping all the family tasks done. In the unique pockets where you can walk to many places, like New York, very expensive to live. Can't reasonably buy property. Bicycles are really not a viable option for most people.


moeru_gumi t1_jb5rrsu wrote

I lived in a city of 10 million people in Japan. You regularly see mothers with babies in the bicycle baskets and groceries on the back.


distortionwarrior t1_jb6c62l wrote

In JAPAN. Not everywhere, some cities in JAPAN.


moeru_gumi t1_jb6i901 wrote

Yes, and if a city of 10 million can do it, it is possible. Humanity has found a way to do it. It can be implemented in other places if we actually would want it and accept that it’s possible.


Notspherry t1_jb5y33r wrote

There are a lot of assumptions here that I do not agree with.

Full disclosure: I live on the outskirts of a 70k town in the netherlands. Definitely not in a big city.

First, giving people the option to ride for transportation does not equate forcing people to ride. If your local steakhouse adds burgers to the menu they are not forcing you to only eat burgers.

Second, dropping off my kids at daycare/school has never been more than a 10 minute detour. The way towns are set up here means that most daily destinations like schools, shops, doctors and sports facilities are always close to residential area's. This means chaining several trips together by bike is very easy.

Third: cars coststake up a large part of the budget of young families. Cutting (a part) of these costs means being able to afford a better house, or working less. I see lots of mothers who cycle everywhere, with or without kids, because it is the most convenient way to get around.


distortionwarrior t1_jb6arqe wrote

What you're saying is that you want people to completely blow up their lives and cities so they can take up your hobby of bike riding, whether it works for them or not. As with all conversations like this, I say you can do whatever you want up to the point that your freedoms do not take away other people's freedoms. You can be a gun owner, you can be a bike owner, you can be a presbyterian, you can be a vegan, but don't force any of that on anyone else. You are free to ride your bike and set up your life in any way you like, but where I live, it doesn't work for me or my city, and the juice just isn't worth the squeeze. Childcare is horribly expensive and waiting lines are months or years long, jobs are far away, housing in the city is small and horribly expensive, and the government should not be in the business of taking away thousands of our very limited parking spots so some people can have the privilege of riding their bike on the main road instead of one block in either parallel direction.


drl33t t1_jb5el51 wrote

The average annual cost of new vehicle ownership is almost $10 000 a year. A small sedan is the cheapest at $7000 a year.

Yes, this average cost takes into account loan interest, depreciation, fuel, insurance, maintenance and fees.

If people knew how damn expensive car ownership was upfront, we’d probably have less cars and more public transit.



guy_guyerson t1_jb4tkns wrote

> increasing urbanization

That's exactly what jumped out at me when I read 'since 2001'.


xmorecowbellx t1_jb4upjp wrote

Those things, and also just the increasing difficulty to find free parking in major centres, along with the rise of Uber/Lyft, lowering cab prices a bit.


N8CCRG t1_jb1umdu wrote

FYI this paper only includes data up to 2017, so no post-pandemic changes measured yet. It does include some discussion about ride-hailing services (e.g. Uber and Lyft).


Nessie t1_jb36psn wrote

As a cyclist, it was paradise riding in my city of 2 million during the pandemic, when everyone was telecommuting and tourists were mostly barred from entry.


ssnover95x t1_jb3yxre wrote

A lot of studies showed that reduced congestion actually increased vehicle speeds sufficiently that casualties from drivers hitting other road users and pedestrians didn't go down.


uberfission t1_jb4y9zh wrote

From my observations, it was really only the worst drivers that were still driving into work.


Beer_Is_So_Awesome t1_jb4xcaf wrote

People did begin driving insanely in my city. Bad habits have continued til today, and I see far more people running red lights, rolling through crosswalks, illegal turns on red, etc.

Also, as an aside, legal turns in red shouldn’t even be a thing, for a several really obvious reasons if.


Yolo_420_69 t1_jb4ogs1 wrote

I was in nyc. Dude the things I did on my motorcycle through times Square. It was awesome


LawHelmet t1_jb4sr5u wrote

Dude. I was in DC. Samesies but Penn Ave solo from straight down the middle of the Mall and along the Reflecting Pool and places bicycles can go but motorcycles normally cannot.


ShrimpCrackers t1_jb3mk9s wrote

Yeah but I have to say in countries where they have universal flat fee for unlimited travel on public transportation, there's a certain freedom there. What we need in America is something like that.


subtracterall t1_jb3x7j9 wrote

Just make public transit free or a nominal fee. We all need to get places to do our jobs and buy things and live.


bluGill t1_jb4ctu3 wrote

Free transit has been tried. It doesn't get very many more riders, and it means more money is meeded from someplace.

Service us what you need to attract riders. Build great service and they will come. Your car is always near and ready to leave when you want to go, most transit means adjusting from when you feel like going to the schedule: or you can buy a car. Many.times transit has convoluted routes to down town, so not only is the car a lot downtown, if your destination isn't downtown you can turn a 10 minute drive into over an hour: so a car is worth it for them savings.

The above is well known in transit circles, but not outside.


qoning t1_jb4emda wrote

It also attracts unwanted... individuals, as much as it sucks to say, often the fact they can be removed for not paying is the only quick way to make it safe and acceptable for other riders. Living inside public transport is not a solution to homeless crisis.

But yeah as you say, layout of American cities is not suitable for good public transport. People often point out that it can be good in Europe, and it can, but you know where? In high density cities like Amsterdam or Prague or Paris or London. It still absolutely sucks for smaller cities and rural areas (which tbh would often still be counted as suburbs in the US because the distances are so much smaller).


bluGill t1_jb4vbva wrote

> layout of American cities is not suitable for good public transport. People often point out that it can be good in Europe, and it can, but you know where? In high density cities like Amsterdam or Prague or Paris or London

This is a half truth that is incorrectly used as an excuse to do nothing. All cities in the US have forms where there would be good support for transit if there was good transit, but since there isn't good transit people drive. There are apartments with high enough density but not transit all over, we need to serve them. There are through roads every mile or two, and thus within biking distance of most houses (if we figure out how to handle bikes on transit) It doesn't solve everything, but using bad form in some places as an excuse to not have transit anywhere is not good. And if you have good transit (and zoning allows) you can then build denser than current cities do.


guy_guyerson t1_jb4u15x wrote

> and it means more money is meeded from someplace.

Not always, often it just breaks even because the cost of transacting, securing payments, payment equipment, enforcing anti-turnstyle jumping, etc end up eating most of the payments received.

This is probably less the case now that public transit is less cash-based, but it's still a consideration.


bluGill t1_jb4zxt5 wrote

Not in most places with transit. You can look up the budgets of US transit organizations, small town transit you are correct, but for anything bigger fares are significant sources of money (10% being significant).


NotSoSecretMissives t1_jb6g6kl wrote

I mean take for example, Massachusetts, there are ~5 million tax payers and the MBTA, public transit system that collects the most fares in the state, collects ~675 million in fares. Even if you spread that equally to every tax payer that is only $135 per person for the entire year. There is zero reason to include collection systems except to punish transit users.


bluGill t1_jb6k5dm wrote

Where is that 675 million going to come from? Whatever you answer, why not give them that, plus keep the 675million from fares and expand service. I guarantee most riders would prefer better service to zero cost fares.


NotSoSecretMissives t1_jb6pf49 wrote

I agree that's what a lot of riders would say, but it's a complete waste of human resources. If something like transit is such a public good (users and non-users), there's no reason to put an additional burden on those that choose to use the service when it's such a low cost when distributed across the population. Taxes are the most efficient way to fund public services. All that said, public transit should receive way more funding.


No_Maines_Land t1_jb4wvdm wrote

I've a theory about increasing ridership from drivers.

I have to pay a public transit free on my license renewal, it's variable based on engine volume and home address (aka big truck in city, high cost; small car in suburb, lower cost; anything rural, no cost). I generally like the idea of this fee.

HOWEVER, I think it should also come with a discount on public transit that's the same as the public transit fee. IE. if the fee is $240 a year, then $20 off a monthly pass.

This way, the incentive to the individual is that they are losing an advantage/money by not getting the transit pass. Once a driver has a monthly pass, I think they are more likely to at least consider public transit for each trip.

I also think the psychology would support that since the pass is paid for, and not free, even by an indirect means; it would have a positive perception effect.


bluGill t1_jb51i0a wrote

Service needs to be there first. If you cannot reasonably get where you want to go, when you want to be there, then cost isn't a consideration at all. If you have good transit (good means both frequent and coverage) we can talk about other considerations. There are very few places where making transit cheaper will attract more riders than investing in more/better service.


No_Maines_Land t1_jb5d0qg wrote

Absolutely valid.

In my case the service is there, hence why it is legitimate to change a public transit fee on the yearly plating fee. Buddy with a plate registered in the sticks has no public transit charge. Other fellow in suburbia of Montréal pays lass plating fees than me in the city since there is less public transit.


bobtheplanet t1_jba7j6o wrote

I rode the train into downtown Chicago for work for over 35 years. Why? It was convenient. My stations were within walking distance of a few city blocks to both home and work. I would say I was very lucky - moreso than the majority of people in the Chicago area. Yet, we still needed cars for every other trip. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to transportation. Population pressure expands outwards where possible. We are a nation of loners.


bluGill t1_jbap336 wrote

You hit the problem: if transit isn't useful you won't use it.

There are places where people use transit for more than to work trips: places where transit is useful for other trips.


hguess_printing t1_jb4u7jb wrote

Busses would get to stops faster if we also didn’t have to wait for everyone to pay their fare upon boarding


rlbond86 t1_jb4q07o wrote

The main barriers to ridership are service level and coverage. Better to have more money to use on ops than just offering free rides with low service.


ShrimpCrackers t1_jb4135k wrote

Well it needs to pay for itself. A public tax on that for all tax paying citizens and tourist visitors based on length of stay is good too.

Edit: I don't know why I went around and saying it needs to pay for itself, what it needs is some revenue but definitely not to pay for itself because it pays for itself in spades just in a roundabout manner.


boarder981 t1_jb42hhj wrote

Roads don’t pay for themselves, yet private citizens use them everyday for their personal vehicles. In suburbs they often park on them for free!


gobblox38 t1_jb466yt wrote

The benefits would come from more efficient travel. If mass transit is free, then fewer people will be driving on the highways. Fewer people driving on the highways results in reduced maintenance costs.


ShrimpCrackers t1_jb47ylc wrote

Yup I agree. It's why a transit system doesn't have to profit directly.


rlbond86 t1_jb4pwyh wrote

Nobody ever insists that roads pay for themselves...


notesundevil t1_jb8d6p5 wrote

It’s a service, it does not need to pay for itself. Just like the postal service.


SandyBouattick t1_jb51apn wrote

The major problem is still access. I live in one of the many large areas of my state where most people commute to the big city, but the only practical way to get there is to drive. There is no subway service and the nearest commuter trains are about a half hour away. Most people would rather drive an hour and a half each way than drive a half hour and then hope there is still any parking left to pay for at the closest train station, wait for a train, and then take that in, and do the reverse home. Trains can be late and sometimes they're overfull and you have to wait a long time for the next one. You don't really save any time taking the train, and it is often longer. The only advantage is being able to sit and read instead of driving, but that assumes the seats aren't already full. Having a slightly shorter commute and knowing you can leave when you want to instead of having to hope the train schedule works out for you is also a big advantage of driving. To make mass transit a more realistic option for more people, we need a much bigger investment in rail service. More lines extending to more parts of the state with more regular and reliable service. Without that, people are still going to drive.


ShrimpCrackers t1_jbbv5l4 wrote

You're absolutely right though, the public transportation infrastructure in the United States in general is absolutely horrible versus most developed countries and developing countries. It's notable that Thailand is absolutely futuristic versus any subway system in America and people in Thailand only make about $7,000 per capital. Personally for me off the top of my head I can't even remember or point out a single developed democracy that has worse public transportation than the USA.


GuiltyandCharged t1_jb31kr1 wrote

Anecdotally I'm from a well off area of New England and less than fifty percent of my friends in their mid 20s own cars.


funnyfarm299 t1_jb39zkh wrote

Is there a serviceable train line within a mile of your house?


marxr87 t1_jb4g8xr wrote

The wealthier you are, the more likely you are to be driven rather than drive. Driving sucks must of the time


Krazyguy75 t1_jb4hqcl wrote

Yeah I think ride-sharing plays a part, but also another VERY important spinoff of them: Delivery services. It used to be that almost every single person would have to do a round trip drive every time they wanted groceries. Now, instacart/doordash/etc cuts out half of the drive.


Whispersail t1_jb2chj4 wrote

Bikes now, are motorized too. I have one, it's great.


omegacluster t1_jb4mj1r wrote

I am really ambivalent on the subject. I don't hate them outright, I love that a small electric motor and battery can help people cover longer distances on bike and choose the bike over the automobile. What I hate is these monstrous electric fat bikes that are closer to a motorcycle than a bicycle: they weigh a ton (figuratively of course) and always go way too fast on cycle paths. I think the lines should be redrawn regarding what vehicles are allowed on cycling paths.


ManiacalShen t1_jb4twso wrote

When people jump right in with a powerful and fast machine before ever learning normal trail etiquette, that's what we get. It is frustrating, because there's nothing stopping someone on a Class 3 e-bike from keeping to safe and polite speeds on shared paths. I've done it.

As long as roads are as terrible as they are, I have a hard time deciding who shouldn't be allowed on paths, though. It might just have to be a societal growing pain with a lot of public education, or we can at least disallow bikes that have those vestigial pedals and way-too-high top speeds.


uberfission t1_jb508va wrote

I get a sense of accomplishment when I pass people on e-bikes, knowing full well that I'm working my ass off and they're kind of just casually pedaling along.


beefJeRKy-LB t1_jb8wmcb wrote

There's also a huge problem with the less regulated throttle bikes used by delivery drivers. E bikes are very popular in Europe but it's largely the pedal assist variety used by normal people.


GenocidalElectricFan t1_jb33nru wrote

I wonder if this is because of the increase of online deliveries. There's certainly a lot more car trips I'd be making if I could only shop offline.


everything_is_bad t1_jb3owq4 wrote

It’s almost like gas being 5 times more expensive traffic being 3 times as bad, cars not being fun and the coming doom due to our dependence on fossil fuels not to mention 20 years of blood on our hands from oil wars has made driving less appealing…


Obie-two t1_jb3xcno wrote

What do you mean cars not being fun? Some of the best cars to drive ever exist now.

Also there are zero people who stopped driving due to “ blood on our hands”. How silly. There are literally people driving through war zones today to go to their jobs, come back to reality


ssnover95x t1_jb3z3qa wrote

Congestion makes driving not fun. If you want to have fun, take a car to a track, that's not what the public roads are for.


[deleted] t1_jb4mlp3 wrote



agentchuck t1_jb4s4n4 wrote

I think what they meant was that the roads are designed for everyone to get where they're going as safely as possible. They're not for "having fun", which usually translates into some selfish kid who watched too many F&F movies thinking their endorphin rush is more important than everyone else on the road.


Obie-two t1_jb4lsh5 wrote

You absolutely do not get to decide what public roads are for. You're also in a thread where it explicitly states LESS people are driving, so LESS congestion. And during the pandemic there was almost NO congestion in many areas. I have no idea what you're talking about. The whole US vs a handful of beltways.


Commentariot t1_jb42hox wrote

You are wrong - I stopped driving because of the endless oil war in Iraq.


Obie-two t1_jb4lr3f wrote

Reading your post history, you're proving my point


Terrible_Departure90 t1_jb3sbqd wrote

The price of insurance, maintenance, gas, parking, and the car itself has all almost doubled while incomes haven’t. When you can’t afford something you typically use it less often


Certain-Ad-3840 t1_jb35cs4 wrote

Well when you think about it, if you were commuting you would have to stop at each individual person‘s house to pick them up, here in Florida visiting 2 to 4 houses could take up to an hour and that’s not even including the drive to work. Or the alternative is that everyone meets in one place to drive together, and then that case you have a bunch of cars sitting in one spot. The infrastructure here it’s just so god awful we have been forced to each have our own cars.


brb-ww2 t1_jb4u5z4 wrote

Trying to force every human to own a car has to be one of the worst scams in America.


Knightmare25 t1_jb304fj wrote

Funny that the study is coming from FAU considering it's impossible to find parking there.


PM_MY_OTHER_ACCOUNT t1_jb3zqrn wrote

Updating this study with more recent data including 2022 would make the results much more valuable and meaningful. I suspect that the trend would continue and private automobile use would continue to decline. I think there are multiple factors contributing to the trend, two of them being cost of fuel rising and purchase price of vehicles rising. In some parts of the country, more public mass transit has become available and rideshare services grew in popularity. Working from home certainly cuts down on private vehicle usage as well.


Aaron_Hamm t1_jb4fqrp wrote

How to say "we're poorer" without really saying it...


txroller t1_jb4sh0f wrote

In my area Lyft and Uber have increased the prices. $50 for a 20min drive!


throwwwwwawaaa65 t1_jb4x15l wrote

Please let cities get entire car lanes dedicated to bikes. It makes sense now w battery powered versions now too.


Mr_BruceWayne t1_jb3xrkp wrote

I still attribute this to the fact that in 1999 gas was .98 cents a gallon.


ValyrianJedi t1_jb4vrml wrote

Gas mileage was a whole lot worse though...98 cents is like $1.80 today, and I'm pretty sure my car now could make it further on the same amount of cash paying current prices than my parents cars could have in $.98. Definitely could have 2 years ago. And obviously could have for the little while in 2020 gas was only like $1.90


MochaJ95 t1_jb4ti72 wrote

We need public transit


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Thud2 t1_jb49ng6 wrote

What is a share of a non-motorized?


Chaosr21 t1_jb4ck3a wrote

Nobody can afford cars anymore


AMLRoss t1_jb4lh0b wrote

One reason is more and more people are using delivery services for food and sites like Amazon decrease the amount of trips people need to make. High gas prices means people are more likely to want to stay home.


TheMcDeal t1_jb4mfir wrote

Crazy, it's almost as if tripling the pice of gas in 2001, without raising minimum wage for over a decade and a half made people drive less over time.


hawkwings t1_jb4q8k2 wrote

Maybe Americans are poorer than they used to be, especially in cities. The US population most likely increased during that time period.


JWHY1975 t1_jb4tjwk wrote

Taxi cabs are automobiles


DontDropThSoap t1_jb4ttrp wrote

Imagine if it had any meaningful support whatsoever instead of private firms capitalizing off of making any public works as cheap and profitable as possible


roofuskit t1_jb4uvqx wrote

Because young people can't afford cars.


SpaceBearKing t1_jb4x2ch wrote

I feel like "taxicabs" are probably skewing the data. I had only been in a taxicab twice in my life until Uber and Lyft started gaining traction in my early 20s. Now I take some sort of rideshare 5 to 10 times a year. I'm sure other people's stories are similar.


Sir_Squirly t1_jb4x9zr wrote

TL;DR most are too poor to own their own car now with all the associated costs, this isn’t “a movement” or some carbon footprint advancement, it’s inflation swallowing more and more people out of owning what used to be standard.


drl33t t1_jb5f9vd wrote

A car for someone who is poor is like a poverty tax. That’s why it’s so terrible we’ve designed cities around car ownership. It really hurts the working poor.


wesweb t1_jb4y1uq wrote

Yeah but no way to tell if thats because of the desirability of public transit or the economy slowly falling apart


socokid t1_jb4zvba wrote

I can't wait until we get into our pods that drive us wherever we want to go.


fizzlefist t1_jb4zx5t wrote

I’ve gone through a variety of middle-weight motorcycles for leisure since I started riding in 2019. I do a lot of travel for work, so I do still very much need a 4-wheeled vehicle for going 100-300 miles to the job site for a week, but I recently swapped the bike out for a 150cc scooter. Now I’m using that for running around town when I’m at home.

The balance is phenomenal, thr small wheels means is extremely maneuverable, the underseat storage and top case means I can do a grocery run, and it’s hard to beat 90 miles per gallon. Plus it’s just fun.

Only times I take the truck around the home town now is if I need to take passengers or lots of stuff.


kc_cramer t1_jb5z1he wrote

Not surprising. We WANT public transit and "non-car" options. But most of this damn country doesn't have it.


DaBIGmeow888 t1_jb31dkh wrote

This is due to limited parking or costly parking, and traffic time...


G_W_Atlas t1_jb31mk1 wrote

And younger generations not being able to afford to drive.


EnglishMobster t1_jb3tsku wrote

Sounds like good ways to optimize for more public transit.

Make less parking, charge more for the little parking that exists, and replace lanes with trains.

The savings on parking lots alone could encourage more green spaces, more housing, or more local businesses.


Narethii t1_jb3gstn wrote

No mention of telecommuting? WFH is still a considerable part of the NA office job work force, I know MANY people who went from 30-60 minute one way daily commutes to WFH. It's the most significant decrease in my use and my wife's of motor vehicles by far


Destro9799 t1_jb3isb5 wrote

The data goes to 2017, so that was before the recent boom in telecommuting we got from the pandemic.