Testimony from Ashwini Chhabra, Deputy Commissioner of Policy & Planning at NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, in 2012, on the question of hailing taxicabs with apps like Uber:
“It is not the rightful function of government to protect one segment of an industry from competition from another segment. So long as passengers win and the industry over all wins, our goal to be to encourage innovation and forward movement.”
So it will not surprise you to learn that he is becoming Uber's first head of policy development and community engagement. I'm sure someone told him, in a sing-songy voice "Why reg-u-late when you can inn-o-vate? Also here is [...]
New York City's airport problem is legendary. JFK is extremely far, LaGuardia is extremely small, and Newark is in New Jersey. (One secret is that in many ways Newark is the best airport for New York—depending! It all always depends.)
Sloppy thinking in New York City might tell you that the best way to go long distances is via cab. You don't have to think, you can see the speed you're making and, you know, you feel like a rich lady. But the transit systems of New York have been improving radically over the last ten years (though the improvements can destroy your weekends!) and now? No one agrees on [...]
I scoffed a little when today's Post referred to today as TRANSIT DOOMSDAY, regarding the MTA cuts. (Though of course I've always been upset about the death of the M8, which is how everyone in the East Village gets across town.) Apparently, however, it literally is MTA TRANSIT DOOMSDAY in Williamsburg, if you depend upon the L train. A million junior publicists are late to work right now! Photo by Andrew Pile.
The thin, fragile, and (oft unfairly) maligned conduit between Brooklyn and Queens is shutting down for five weeks so that the MTA can repair lingering damage from Hurriance Sandy. This has provided occasion to air out moldering anxieties about the G train and the area it serves, one too ripe for Uber to resist exploiting: While the MTA does their thing, we’re here to bridge the gap with one free transfer between the Nassau Av and Court Sq G train stops.
The MTA's "thing" is maintaining vital physical infrastructure. Uber is beloved by its investors precisely because it does not perform that kind of costly work, but [...]
I have a pet theory that the reason organizations like the Murdoch press are so dead-set against bike lanes or anything that makes cycling easier in New York City is because they know that, at some point in the future, the city will inevitably be forced to acknowledge the environmental and congestional factors choking its arteries and limit automotive traffic to such an extent that what remains on the streets will either be delivery vehicles or cabs, and anything they (organizations like the Murdoch press) can do to help forestall that day of reckoning is worth it to them, and also they hate cyclists, which is kind of a [...]
A reader writes: "I'm sending this out in hopes that I can warn some fellow NYers – there are no trains running downtown at the 8th Street R station at night and the MTA apparently has no intention of warning anyone. I was in the station for like 20 minutes waiting with a big group of people, just watching express trains go by, before a kindly conductor actually stopped the train to let us know that no R trains would be there till morning. There was no signage, no red tape, nothing. And of course the attendant at the booth had been laid off long ago, I'm sure.
The researchers found that Manhattan’s 13,000 taxis made 470,000 trips a day. Their average speed was 10 to 11 m.p.h., carrying an average of 1.4 passengers per trip with an average wait time of five minutes.
In comparison, the report said, it is possible for a futuristic robot fleet of 9,000 shared automated vehicles hailed by smartphone to match that capacity with a wait time of less than one minute. Assuming a 15 percent profit, the current cost of taxi service would be about $4 per trip mile, while in contrast, it was estimated, a Manhattan-based driverless vehicle fleet would cost about 50 cents per mile.
The upside of [...]
Logic tells us that at some point such hikes become unsustainable; excessively high prices deter customers and end up hurting the bottom line, as everyone knows. Except not when it comes to transit…. "It’s sort of like talking about the far reaches of the solar system," said Charles Komanoff, a transport economist. "We are not remotely close to that. You could just as easily say, 'If people had to swim to get down the staircases to the stations, then they’re not going to ride the trains.' OK, that’s true, but so what?"
—You will always ride the subway. Even when it costs two packs of cigarettes.
Add another chapter to the sad story of Darius McCollum, who was, perhaps inevitably, arrested for the 27th time yesterday after procuring a Trailways bus in Hoboken and driving it to Queens. McCollum, whose first collar came at the age of 15 when he commandeered an passenger-filled E train at midtown and drove it down to the World Trade Center, apparently told the arresting officer that, "I'll bet they won't leave the keys in the ignition. I'll bet they'll be more careful now."