Reining in Ride Hailing Is Critical (8-14-18)

Traditional taxis vie for street space with ride-hailing vehicles from Uber and Lyft in New York City. Something has to give. Mary Altaffer/AP

City leaders need to reckon with the reality that sometimes shared ride services are not part of the answer to urban congestion, argues transportation researcher Bruce Schaller.

Last week, the New York City Council took a big step toward stemming the traffic-clogging proliferation of Uber and Lyft vehicles, temporarily halting issuance of new vehicle licenses as well as authorizing a wage floor for ride-hailing service drivers. The historic bills, which Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law on Tuesday, signal that these companies can no longer run roughshod over legislative bodies in pursuit of growth and eventual profits.

But there has been pushback to the idea, contained in both the legislation and in my recent report, “The New Automobility,” that Uber and Lyft’s impact on big-city traffic needs to be contained. Some of this resistance comes, not unexpectedly, from the companies themselves, which strongly object to the moratorium while also accepting the wage-related provisions.

Perhaps more notable was criticism from other quarters. In a recent CityLab post, for example, Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase wrote that focusing on ride service growth “sets us up for failure” because Uber, Lyft, taxis and the like “account for just 1.7 percent of miles traveled by urban dwellers, while travel by personal cars accounts for 86 percent.” She calls for making “all shared modes of transit better and more attractive than driving alone.”

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10 Things To Do In The D.C. Area This Week (8-13-18)

This 2017 photo from top of the Ferris wheel provides fairgoers with a bird’s-eye view of the attractions of the Arlington County Fair’s midway. (Bettina Lanyi for The Washington Post)

Monday, Aug. 13

Metropolitan Restaurant Week at area restaurants: Late summer brings sweet corn, ripe tomatoes and Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, when eateries across the area serve up multicourse meals for a fixed price that’s easy on the wallet. This year, more than 250 restaurants in the city, Maryland and Virginia are participating in Summer Restaurant Week. That includes new spots you might not have tried yet, like José Andrés’s America Eats Tavern in Georgetown, the lively Mexican restaurant Mi Vida at the Wharf and the Israeli-themed Sababa in Cleveland Park. Peruse Restaurant Week menus online, and then book a table in advance for a summer dining deal. Through Sunday. $22 lunch and brunch, $35 dinner. 

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)

Decision Nears On Future Of Dockless Bikes, Scooters In DC (8-8-18)

In this Feb. 13, 2018 photo, two dockless LimeBike’s share the sidewalk with others from Washington, D.C.’s docked share program called Capital Bikeshare in Washington. Shared bikes that can be left wherever the rider ends up are helping more people get access to the mode of transportation that reduces car traffic and increases exercise. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON — The District is set to lay out new rules this month for dockless bikes and app-based electric scooters.

The pilot program that started last year was extended through Aug. 31 after the companies that run the services complained about an initial proposal this spring that would have required payments to the city, continued data sharing and that the dockless rides be parked in proper areas.

Some bike advocates had also complained the regulations could have limited the usefulness of dockless bikes and scooters for people who visit, live or work in the city.

Though some advocates have asked that the city allow thousands more bikes as part of the program, a number of District residents have complained that the bikes and scooters simply litter sidewalks in the best of circumstances, while some end up trashed down alleys or hillsides in others.

Read Full Story Here (via WTOP)

DC Cyclists Hoping For Crackdown On Safety Issues (8-3-18)

Some District cyclists are calling upon police to issue more accident reports and ticket more drivers parked in the bike lane — all in the name of safety.

Where Ride-Hailing and Transit Go Hand in Hand (8-3-18)

Partnerships between transit agencies and ride-hailing companies have boomed since 2016. Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development/DePaul University

Ever planned to take the bus, but wound up calling an Uber? That’s what the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority did in 2016.

That year, ridership across St. Petersburg, Florida’s fixed route bus lines plummeted by 11 percent—twice the drop PSTA experienced in the first year of the recession, and one of the deepest declines of any major U.S. system. Pinellas County constituents had recently rejected the concept of transit even more directly: PSTA’s one-cent “Greenlight Pinellas” sales tax proposal to spread bus service and build a light rail system bombed at the ballots in 2014.

Read Full Story Here (via City Lab)