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With Uber’S Cars, Maybe We Don’T Need Our Own - Guess What It Will Boost?

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/technology/personaltech/with-ubers-cars-maybe-we-dont-need-our-own.html?_r=0

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It is impossible to say whether Uber is worth the $17 billion its investors believe it to be; like any start-up, it could fail. But for all its flaws, Uber is anything but trivial. It could well transform transportation the way Amazon has altered shopping — by using slick, user-friendly software and mountains of data to completely reshape an existing market, ultimately making many modes of urban transportation cheaper, more flexible and more widely accessible to people across the income spectrum.

Uber could pull this off by accomplishing something that has long been seen as a pipe dream among transportation scholars: It has the potential to decrease private car ownership.

In its long-established markets, like San Francisco, using Uber every day is already arguably cheaper than owning a private car. Uber says that despite dust-ups about “surge pricing” at busy times, its cheapest service, UberX, is usually 30 percent less expensive than taxis.

Now that Uber, Lyft and other rivals are embroiled in a vicious match for dominance across the globe, ride-sharing prices over all are sure to plummet. The competition is likely to result in more areas of the country in which ride-sharing becomes both cheaper and more convenient than owning a car, a shift that could profoundly alter how people navigate American cities.

Over the next few years, if Uber and other such services do reduce the need for private vehicle ownership, they could help lower the cost of living in urban areas, reduce the environmental toll exacted by privately owned automobiles (like the emissions we spew while cruising for parking), and reallocate space now being wasted on parking lots to more valuable uses, like housing.

Well did you guess?

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Cars are not essential for city living.....apart from nowhere to park or store plus the extra expense to park and store and insure....why with 24 hour regular transport services makes cars a luxury extra with extra cost attached......people live in urban places because most things required are close at hand...no own car required. ;)

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The more disposable income people have, the more money can be sucked away to pay for inflated housing.

OR: Fewer jobs in car manufacturing, car sales = higher unemployment = lower house prices

Hard to tell what the real impact is on housing since house prices are mainly a function of credit availability. And we all know who manipulates that.

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I have lived without a car for 7 out of the past 10 years - it is quite liberating. Being in cities where taxis and public transport is affordable and safe (i.e. not the uK!) made it an easy call.

Uber has a massive advantage, to my mind, in that it is actually safer than public transport and (remarkably) safer than many licensed taxi drivers. The ones in Melbourne, for example, were so dodgy it was untrue.

So yes, wherever I move next, if there are no safe local taxis, Uber will be the way, and I'll try to do without a car.

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Get real please folks.

The UK is not just London.

Most of us do not live in the ant heap and have to travel.

Public transport cannot meet our needs

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For sure Uber could have a big role in transport especially for business use and for essential journeys and suchlike also for non-drivers but it'll not replace car use for leisure and pleasure use.

Admittedly the leisure and pleasure aspect is getting less due to all the congestion along with potholed roads etc.

Edited by billybong

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For sure Uber could have a big role in transport especially for business use and for essential journeys and suchlike also for non-drivers but it'll not replace car use for leisure and pleasure use.

Admittedly the leisure and pleasure aspect is getting less due to all the congestion along with potholed roads etc.

Won't work for rural dwellers, but Zipcar et al. have been around for a few years now:

http://www.zipcar.co.uk/how

zipcar-instructions.jpg

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Driverless cars will be common in 20 years aswell. The way we travel is definitely in for a shake up.

so will the paperless office.

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Cars are not essential for city living.....apart from nowhere to park or store plus the extra expense to park and store and insure....why with 24 hour regular transport services makes cars a luxury extra with extra cost attached......people live in urban places because most things required are close at hand...no own car required. ;)

That's in the US.

In the UK, even the parts we call rural (like Dartmoor around here) meet that description. Excepting perhaps some of the most remote parts of Scotland.

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OR: Fewer jobs in car manufacturing, car sales = higher unemployment = lower house prices

Hard to tell what the real impact is on housing since house prices are mainly a function of credit availability. And we all know who manipulates that.

Cars meant lots of redundant grooms, stable boys, ostlers, etc.

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In all honesty if you have a reliable older car then motoring is cheap. My car costs me with servicing providing nothing goes wrong and minus fuel around £600 a year, quite frankly I'm not concerned about that cost and I don't think Uber would like a wet muddy dog in their cars.

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That's in the US.

In the UK, even the parts we call rural (like Dartmoor around here) meet that description. Excepting perhaps some of the most remote parts of Scotland.

I couldnt really agree with that. The US seems more truly 'urbanized' than the UK...have you seen the size of their metropolitan areas? In the UK, the green belt has prohibited the organic growth of urban areas, with more people commuting from individual villages that have grown instead....None of the 40 or so people I work with happen to live in the same settlement as me, for example...which is the same for most people there as well. I cant see how lift sharing would work for the majority.

I'd go so far as to say being car-free could end up being easier in the US than the UK, contrary to common perception.

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Buses are absolutely useless.

Where I live, we get about 8 a day, they all go into the city centre 7 miles away.

To go to the next village, about 3 miles away, I would have to make a 14 mile journey.

I get fed up with Londoners pontificating about public transport and expecting the whole of the UK to follow their lead.

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In my experience it's easy to be car free in a major city (Toronto and London are the two I've had personal experience of being car free in very happily).

Living where we do no (small Shropshire Market town) being car free would be all but impossible. Public transport is appalling and a taxi to our nearest major town is £10.

If we were retired here we could just about cope - but the world would seem very small.

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In my experience it's easy to be car free in a major city (Toronto and London are the two I've had personal experience of being car free in very happily).

Living where we do no (small Shropshire Market town) being car free would be all but impossible. Public transport is appalling and a taxi to our nearest major town is £10.

If we were retired here we could just about cope - but the world would seem very small.

Everything at hand....and anything can be delivered......from small to big is where a train comes into its own.....airports are quite handy also, a way to see the real bigger picture. ;)

Edited by winkie

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Buses are absolutely useless.

Where I live, we get about 8 a day, they all go into the city centre 7 miles away.

To go to the next village, about 3 miles away, I would have to make a 14 mile journey.

I get fed up with Londoners pontificating about public transport and expecting the whole of the UK to follow their lead.

OK, it's different if you're disabled.

But 3 miles is what kids were expected to *walk* to school as recently as my schooldays in the '70s, while 7 miles is just a brief bike commute.

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