Ride-Sharing Services Could Revolutionize Urban Design

Currently, parking spaces, roads and highways take up 30 to 60 percent of urban land in the United States, but this could drastically change if ride-sharing continues to grow.

by Citiscope / November 11, 2015

Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services already have upended the taxi business in many countries. Patrick Russell reports for TechCrunch that ride sharing is now poised to revolutionize urban design.

Wider use of these app-based services would mean less traffic, allowing for more efficient land use and “road diets.” Municipalities could repurpose some streets into real estate for homes and businesses, with extra space for bike paths and promenades.

Highways, roads and parking spaces account for roughly 30 percent to 60 percent of every city, at least in the United States. Meanwhile, the typical American automobile sits idle an estimated 96 percent of the time, the article says. The average U. S. household spends nearly $9,000 a year on car ownership-related expenses. Ride sharing would allow Americans to save around 16 percent on yearly costs.

The article notes that cash-strapped millennials already are gravitating heavily towards ride sharing. “If the 20th century was devoted to building the infrastructure to service the personal automobile, then perhaps the 21st century will be devoted to undoing most of it,” Russell writes.

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