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."