The future of transportation…
One of the greatest things about city life is that you don’t need to own a car. The public transportation system is good and could be better but it exists underground and above ground. Citibike announced a huge expansion this week in and around the boroughs of NYC. Then of course there is Uber. There is also Hailo, Lyft, Sidecar and a few others but Uber seems to have taken NYC by storm. There is something brilliant about being able to order a cab or black car from your phone, get the information on the driver and then track their trip to pick you up.
I would hope that the next Presidential administrations will take a hard long look at investing huge amounts of capital on transportation. As urban areas become more expensive there is a need for high speed trains. Why can’t someone live two hours outside of the city and still work in the city. It shouldn’t take two hours to get from one location to the other, it should take 30 minutes tops. That is a game changer.
The cities can not afford to build underground but with less cars on the road but they can certainly afford to build rails above ground. Why isn’t there a railway that moves freely around Brooklyn and Queens. It would also be a game changer for the neighborhoods that have already changed dramatically where the transportation is far from seamless.
Cars. Zip-car changed the need to rent a car or even own a car in the city. It was the beginning of the shared economy although the cars are owned by Zip-car they are shared by many with the ease of entering your info into your phone and finding a car near you.
I am an investor in Scoot. Scoot is the zip-car of electric scooters. When you travel in Europe scooters are everywhere. They make a lot of sense for large cities when people need to get from point A to point B without a car or a bus or a subway. Basically a motorized bike.
Here is the future. You live 2 plus hours outside a major urban area, let’s make it NYC. Financially it makes more sense for you to live there and you actually prefer the solitude and community. You jump on the bus or share a car or take your bike down to the train station in the morning. You get there around 8am, jump on the train and you are in the city by 830. Your office is on the other side of town and you much prefer being above ground and being solo. So you walk over to the 40 Scoots parked right outside the train station and jump on one. You choose the Scoot on Wednesdays because you generally move around a lot on Wednesdays for meetings and it is the most efficient way to get around the city. Thursdays you take a Citibike because you just go to the office and back and you like the exercise. You run your errands and at the end of the day instead of going home you decide to go meet a friend for dinner just outside of the major city hub, let’s say Brooklyn. You park your Scoot and leave it there for the next rider and jump on the ferry to get across the river. Once you are there you jump on the railcar and go a few stops into Brooklyn where there used to be zero transportation. You have dinner and get back on the railway which takes you into Queens where you can pick up the train that hooks up with the train that takes you home for the night. Although if you are really not in the mood you might just Uber it to the train in the new fleets of electric vehicles that have been deemed mandatory in the city because there are no longer any gas stations. Or you decide to just stay in Brooklyn for the evening and had planned ahead by booking an Airbnb the night before and packing a small bag for the night. If you forgot something you could always get Postmates (driving their Scoot) to get it for you and meet you at the restaurant before getting to your Airbnb.
This is not so far around the corner. It might be bumpy getting there but I believe that we will get there sooner than we think.