Thursday, January 12, 2017

Uber, Lyft, transit agencies see potential for partnerships

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
The rapid and relentless rise of Uber and Lyft has decimated the taxi industry in San Francisco and some other cities, leaving many to wonder if the ride-hailing services will roll over public transportation next.

It seems a reasonable concern, especially with BART showing ridership declines at its San Francisco and Oakland airport stations — and blaming ride services. Yet transit experts say that they’re not worried and, in fact, envision a future in which public transportation and privately operated ride services collaborate to lure more drivers out of their cars.

“We’re in the middle of creating a symbiotic relationship in which people are looking at other ways to getting from Point A to Point B than hopping in their cars,” said Darnell Grisby, director of policy development and research for the American Public Transportation Association. “That is revolutionary.”

In just seven years, Uber and Lyft have become ubiquitous in San Francisco, and common in much of the rest of the Bay Area and in many places around the world. At certain times and in certain locales, it can be cheaper — or cost just slightly more — to use Uber or Lyft than taking public transit, especially for a group. And with thousands of ride-service cars available at the touch of a smartphone, they are usually more convenient.
The private sector takes on "collectivist transportation".