Metro would subsidize an Uber, Lyft or other on-demand trip for late-night workers under a plan the agency is proposing to the ride-hail services.
The subsidized trips — up to $3 per ride — are meant to make up for the loss of late-night service but would be available only to workers, not people out enjoying entertainment or events.
Metro, which has been criticized by riders and D.C. officials for wanting to extend its moratorium on late-night service another year and use the extra time to catch up on maintenance, is expected to issue a request for proposals soon that will outline its goals for the estimated $1 million program.
Lyft is introducing a new “Green Mode” that will let passengers request an electric or hybrid vehicle as part of the platform’s goal to get a billion rides per year in electric cars by 2025. The green option is live in Seattle and will spread to other cities soon.
Drivers will be able to access electric vehicles (EVs) through Lyft’s Express Drive program, which allows users to rent vehicles to drive for Lyft.
Lyft announced this fall it would go carbon neutral by moving to renewable energy and purchasing carbon offsets to “neutralize the remainder of [its] emissions.” As part of that goal, the company says all EV charging will be done with renewable energy.
The other evening as I worked in a coffee shop on a busy intersection at rush hour in Washington, DC, I was struck by the sheer magnitude of the number of drivers passing by that were looking down at their phones. Over the hour I watched, at least half of the drivers who were stopped at the red light looked down at their phone screens at least once, hurriedly scrolling and typing away, entirely oblivious to the fact that the light had turned green until they received a helpful honk from the car behind. When the light was green at least a quarter of those passing through were glancing down at their phones or fixated on some knob or dial on their console, glancing up only sporadically to see if the car ahead was braking. While driverless cars may eventually free us to spend our commutes entirely on our phones, in the meantime, could AI-powered traffic cameras finally rid of the dangers of distracted drivers?
Ride-hailing services are one example of how urban transportation is changing. Their rapid growth is easy to understand. The people who use them like the convenience of being able to summon a ride on-demand with a smart phone app.
There’s also a very real chance they are or will be disruptive for city transportation networks: the buses, taxis, light-rail, subways and personal vehicles most of us are more accustomed to. That’s why we’re sharing highlights from an analysis conducted by the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Council Advisor Arizona State University (ASU) on the ride-hailing phenomenon.
The study doesn’t claim to have all the answers. However, it offers city leaders and transportation planners a better understanding of who is using the services, where they’re being used, trends and where more research is needed.