TNCs are not a new phenomenon, but handling them effectively to reduce the congestion they cause and move people through the downtown core is quite a challenge.
The City of Las Vegas is taking a two-pronged approach to helping TNCs do business downtown:
Using large kiosks with visual cues to help TNC drivers understand where to pick up and drop off passengers and how long they can stay there is proving to be a highly effective strategy for managing precious curb space in busy areas.
To get TNCs out of traffic circulation while they wait for the next ride, the city has identified empty parking assets to offer to these drivers. Providing a place to use the restroom, access WiFi, and rest keeps the drivers happier as well as clearing up the streets.
These two programs have been evolving since prior to COVID and continue to evolve as the city emerges from the pandemic; they involve extensive technology, marketing, stakeholder involvement, and partnerships with the TNCs and local businesses. There are also plenty of lessons learned and “back to the drawing board” moments, as is often the case when blazing a trail.
Brandy Stanley, CAPP, is parking services manager for the City of Las Vegas. She will present on this topic at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, in Tampa, Fla. Click here for details and to register.
Transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft will need to transition to electric vehicles in California by 2030, the state legislature mandated last week.
The new rules, which say 90 percent of ride-share miles traveled must be in electric vehicles by the start of the new decade, also include provisions to make charging access easy and help ensure the cost of both charging and the vehicles themselves is accessible to drivers.
California recently passed a ban on sales of new gasoline-powered cars in the state that will start in 2035. Uber has committed to going all-electric by 2040 and recently earmarked $800 million to help drivers make the shift.
One argument in favor of TNCs such as Uber and Lyft is that they can take privately-owned cars off the road. But a new study says the vehicles actually generate more pollution than they replace.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization focusing on environmental and social challenges, says they found TNC trips generated 69 percent more pollution than the trips they displace; those trips, the group says, are frequently transit, walking, or micro-mobility.
“For ride-hailing to contribute to better climate and congestion outcomes, trips must be pooled and electric, displace single-occupancy car trips more often, and encourage low-emissions modes such as mass transit, biking, and walking,” the group says.
Lyft called the report “misleading” and said they encourage shared rides and deploying electric vehicles. Read the whole story here.
Officials at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport say parking demand is down so much that a planned garage expansion is no longer necessary, and they say ride-share is behind the drop.
So many passengers are using Uber and Lyft to get to and from the airport that plans to double the size of its parking garages have been scrapped. Instead, the existing garages will be renovated to stretch their lifespan by 10 to 15 years.
Hartsfield-Jackson has the most passenger volume of any airport in the world; 110.5 million people went through it last year. Read the whole story here.
After drivers switched their profile photos for those of other drivers in Uber’s system, London’s transportation authority refused to renew the ride-share operator’s license. Passengers were picked up by the wrong driver more than 14,000 times, the authority said, after photo swaps were made in the company’s main system; passengers saw a name that didn’t match up with the photo or the driver who showed up. The authority said that also meant some drivers were uninsured and even unlicensed.
Another issue let suspended or fired drivers create new profiles and keep driving for the service.
Uber vowed to appeal the license denial and said it will keep operating in the meantime. All of its drivers, it said, have been audited, and a facial matching process is in the works. Read the whole story here.
We live and die by supply and demand in the parking and mobility industry. We are challenged by the public, stakeholders, and business owners to have enough parking while keeping the price at a reasonable level so as to not deter people from using the curb space. Obviously, I just defined supply and demand! I apologize for the elementary schooling but I have a method to my madness.
I spent a few days in three of the top 15 cities in the United States recently and because I’m a mobility geek, I couldn’t help but focus on the overall curb management in each city. The one thing all three cities had in common was that the supply and demand theory of micro-mobility vendors was way off. In one city, there were seven e-scooter vendors, each fighting for space on the curb. There wasn’t a street I walked down where I couldn’t find an e-scooter to ride. In fact, there was on an average of 20 scooters on each side of the street throughout each city, waiting for potential riders.
Cities and campuses have more control over micro-mobility vendors [vs. ride sharing as an example] by licensing each e-scooter and charging fees per ride; they also have access to data that should help make better policy decisions. Unfortunately, the supply outweighed the demand in all three cities to the point of cluttering the walkways and making it difficult to navigate without tripping hazards.
Why not charge each vendor a fee per scooter for the time it’s taking up curb space instead of a flat fee or per-ride fee? This may cause scooter vendors to be more selective in the number of scooters they drop off in hopes of getting more customers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for first- and last-mile mobility solutions. But we must find the sweet spot of supply and demand or all we’ve done is create another problem in our cities and on our campuses.
Nathan Donnell is director, western U.S. and Canada sales, curbside management solutions with Conduent.
Travelers in Eugene, Ore., can use an app to summon a free ride in an electric vehicle during the workweek starting today. It’s a pilot program, and organizers say local business owners, including owners of downtown shops and restaurants, need to help promote it to make it work.
The service runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and serves about 70 stops throughout the city. The vehicles look like small buses and hold five passengers each, and the hope is that people will enjoy the convenience and green benefits–and the chance to socialize along the way–enough to think about giving up their single-occupant vehicles some of the time.
It’s not unusual anymore to get from point A to point B using a bus, a train, and bike- or scooter-share in a single journey. Google Maps announced yesterday it will soon add all those options and more to its trip navigation options, so commuters can plan their routes mixing everything from walking to micro-mobility to mass transit.
The new “mixed modes” option will shortly roll out under the site’s transit tab. Mass transit options will remain the primary mode of transportation there, but the site will figure in walking, ride-share, and micro-mobility options for those first and last miles, offering true door-to-door navigation for those not driving their own cars (it’ll still show parking options for those folks as well).
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy last week signed a law requiring ride-share (TNCs) vehicles to display more identifying information. The law came after the murder of a woman who got into a vehicle she believed to be an Uber.
Sami’s Law requires TNC vehicles to:
Display two identifying markers in their vehicles’ front and rear windows.
Display the driver’s name, photo, and license plate numbers in two side windows.
Display a barcode passengers can scan to verify the identity of the vehicle and driver before entering the vehicle.
Opponents of the law said it didn’t do enough to protect blind passengers. Supporters say they hope it will become a federal mandate. Read the whole story here.
With airports adapting to ride-share disruption with extra fees or complete overhauls of their drop-off and pick-up stations, many have questioned how to get more travelers parking. Their concerns are valid: According to the Worcester Business Journal, Uber and Lyft drivers made 12 million trips to and from Logan International Airport in 2018. Even though ride-share has disrupted the decades-old airport parking ecosystem, driving is still a transportation route many travelers take and parking represents a significant revenue opportunity for airports.
As ride-share popularity grows, so does the cost to the rider. The industry has already seen fee spikes at airports where ride-share is taking over the curb. Those fees are passed onto the passenger and can make the cost of their ride more unpredictable than ever. Between charges and surge pricing during peak hours, unpredictable amounts of money leave the traveler’s pocket and the airport customer experience weakens. Travelers try to pick their driver’s silver sedan out from a sea of identical cars while their post-trip frustration grows.
One way airport customers minimize this frustration is with planning. The end goal is to make it to the gate at the perfect time by controlling as many factors as possible. Travel factors include stops between home and the airport, the accuracy of the driver, and the overall ride-share experience. Parking is a solution to airport travel frustration. By making it easier for travelers to plan their trip in advance and park, we give airport customers control.
Regardless of how the everyday traveler is getting to and from the airport, everything will need a place to park–temporarily while waiting, or for the long-term. Getting ride-share vehicles off the road and into queue lots reduces frustrating congestion around the terminal. In the future, autonomous vehicle fleets will need rest spots while they wait to be summoned. While airport parking adapts to the mobility revolution, integrating our technologies can solve urban congestion.
Driving and parking remain at the root of the industry, regardless of the limitless options travelers are given. Figuring out a way for airports to maximize parking revenue by making it easy for all vehicles, whether personally owned or ride-share, to park and not contribute to congestion is vital. The mobility revolution has created space for technology, integrations, and partnerships
Tim Maloney is director, strategic partnerships with SpotHero.