Transportation Costs

Transportation has been changed dramatically in the past 5 years particularly in urban cities.  Uber, Lyft, Juno and Via are three of the apps that have been life-changing for urban transportation.  You don’t even need to rent a car when you go to Los Angeles where getting around is almost impossible without a car although that is changing with their new rail.  When you travel to foreign cities, you can just continue to use your app and get from place to place in a car with ease.

In NYC there is absolutely massive congestion on the streets.  Could it be the surge of black cars on the streets?  Possibly but there is a reason for that.  Public transportation has fallen into an abyss.  In NYC, getting to and from locations with public transportation has always been the quickest most efficient way of getting somewhere.  If you live in Brooklyn and work in midtown, taking a car is definitely going to take longer but considering that there has been zero money put into public transportation over the years, it could be a toss-up on which way gets you there quicker.

There is now a bill being pushed through to add a tax to the cost of these apps each time you take a ride.  It is a crime that the state has not been capital into keeping up our transportation system or even being creative around new systems such as above ground rail.  More people are taking cars because the public transportation system is a mess.

Should there be an additional tax on these apps to pay for upgrading the public transportation system?  Should individuals be taxed on congestive pricing?   Our city paid billions to complete the Second Avenue subway that had been on hold for years.  It certainly needed to be completed but was that the best financial decision based on the rest of the system that is in sore need of modernization.

I am not sure where the answer lies but it is incredibly disturbing that our country (state) is not spending money on new forms of public transportation but instead just trying to figure out how to gauge the consumer more to pay for it.  Makes me wonder about the budget, taxes and the lack of creative forward thinking in our Government.

Comments (Archived):

  1. pointsnfigures

    no one wants to use public transport. I use it in Chicago, but Uber is a lot more convenient. Of course, I pay a higher cost which makes sense. In London, they have taxes at certain times of day to ease congestion. It’s a great economic solution. Here is a benefit to ride sharing which we didn’t see coming:… “”Our results represent at least a 7% decrease in the ambulance rate from Uber entry into a city. This decrease likely caused a reduction in wait time for the remaining ambulance volume. Given that even a reduction of a few minutes can drastically improve survival rates for serious conditions, this could be associated with a substantial welfare improvement. Additionally, as mentioned above ambulances are extremely expensive to patients and insurance companies. Consuming substituting to a cheaper alternative when possible would free up resources to be spent more efficiently.”

    1. awaldstein

      not true in ny.there is nothing as efficient as the subway or now as well water taxis.the issue is we all want and need to and it is not are a fail to get around. in tribeca heading mid town during the day. driving is a slog.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Agree about NYC. But, NYC is not like the rest of the US. I remember the first time I heard about congestion taxes it sort of made me mad-but when you think about them they make sense. Taxes are essentially just incentives for behavior, nothing more. If we want less congestion, tax it. I find the effects of Uber on society fascinating. That Uber can have a 7% drop in ambulance usage so more people who truly need an ambulance could get access is pretty interesting.

        1. awaldstein

          We agree about Uber. I spend a lot of time in LA. Reconfigured life, dwarfs even the impact of of zipcar which was huge.NY is I agree different. Wonderfully so.Have a great holiday season!

          1. JustanotherCabDriver

            I’m the Number 1 Uber Driver in San Francisco. I drive on the clock 65 or more hours a week. 25,000+ Trips. (yes I have stories) When I have visitors with questions, which is daily, I tell them “Look, you have to understand something fundamental about America, San Francisco and New York City, are like Puerto Rico and Guam. They are on Sovereign U.S. Territory, but they’re NOT America. They are something entirely different. See that Ridgeline across the Bay above Berkeley ? That’s where America Starts and it goes all the way to the Hudson River. Want to learn about America ? Buy a nice used California Car, and spend a month or two DRIVING across America (that Space New Yorkers and San Francisco call Flyover Country.) Go to the National parks, high school football, girls softball and baseball games, talk to people, and listen. Go to diners and restaurants. Meet people and get to know them. You’ll learn about America. Then sell the car from California. Idiots on the East Coast seem to think it has cache and extra value if you drove it there from California, you might even make money on the car.

          2. awaldstein

            disagree completely.

          3. JustanotherCabDriver

            I’m shocked,… shocked

          4. Gotham Gal

            A different America definitely starts outside of Berkeley