Tag Archives: TNCs

Uber Loses License in London due to Safety Concerns

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.


Where’s My Flying Car?

Raise your hand if, as a kid, you envisioned someday flying around like one of the Jetsons in your very own airborne car. You have lots of company. But is that really ever going to happen?

Not likely, say experts–there are just too many hurdles to jump. But the concept of daily travel by air may not be so farfetched, and more than 70 companies are currently working on developing air taxis, which are along the same concept of a transportation network company vehicle only above the road instead of on it. Several regulatory agencies, including in Europe and Japan, are working on the legal frameworks necessary to let air taxis fly in heavily regulated airspace, and some companies–including Uber Elevate–say they’ll have the flying shared rides in the air by 2023.

What’s all this mean to parking and mobility? Plenty. Check out the breakdown on Bloomberg Businessweek.

New Jersey Enacts Ride-share Safety Legislation

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.

How Congestion Affects Airport Parking

By Tim Maloney

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.

Mobility and Societal Considerations: What’s Happening?

More people than ever are enjoying the convenience of shared-mobility services: transportation network companies (TNCs–Uber, Lyft, etc.), bike-share, scooter-share, and other easy ways to get around. Eric Haggett, senior associate with DESMAN and a member of IPMI’s Planning, Design, & Construction Committee, found himself pondering this recently and wondered if there isn’t more to it all than meets the eye:

  • While there are real and potential benefits to society of increasing mobility options, how do we ensure these benefits are available to everyone?
  • Do we care if these options are not available to some groups?
  • If the trend in society is toward mobility-as-a-service, what happens to the segment of society that can’t afford those services or are not physically capable of using them? Will this be yet another way in which the “haves” separate themselves from the “have nots”?

In this month’s The Parking Professional, Haggett breaks down these concerns along with others. How will underbanked or unbanked people use these systems? What about disabled people? And what is our industry’s responsibility, especially while mobility is young?

It’s a great, thought-provoking read: check it out here. And then share your thoughts on Forum: Are these challenges ones our industry should address? And how?

Study: TNCs Reducing City Demand for Parking

An academic study released last week showed that transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft are taking a bite out of parking demand, at least in Denver, Colo.

The study found that TNCs contribute to congestion on city streets. Users elected for ride-hail instead of public transportation for one thing, and usually rode alone, effectively turning the ride services into single-occupancy vehicles. Many users reported opting for ride-share so they wouldn’t have to find parking at their destinations, but the study found parking would have been relatively simple to find had they driven.

The study concluded that cities may not need as much parking near restaurants, bars, airports, stadiums, and event venues due to TNCs’ popularity. Read the whole story here, or download the study results here.

City of Eugene Parking Sponsors Safe Rides Home

By Jeff Petry

This New Year’s Eve, community members in the Eugene, Ore., metro area had more smart transportation options to choose from than ever before due to great collaboration between public, private, and nonprofit organizations. City of Eugene Parking Services was a sponsor of the Safe Rides Home effort along with Lyft, Oregon Taxi, and Uber.  The Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), Better Eugene-Springfield Transportation (BEST), and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organized and promoted Safe Rides Home.  The Register-Guard newspaper recognized this collaborative partnership in a January 2 editorial.

Efforts like this help the City of Eugene move toward meeting its Vision Zero Traffic Safety goal that says no loss of life or serious injury on Eugene’s transportation system is acceptable. During the last four years, our county has suffered more traffic deaths than any other Oregon county. The 180 deaths in Lane County are higher than even Multnomah County, which has more than twice the total population. The primary contributors to these deaths are speed and driving impairment.

From 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve/Day, people were able to receive a $5 discount on a ride from Uber or Lyft or a $10 discount from Oregon Taxi using an app code. This promotion was available to everyone in the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area. The sponsorship from the Eugene Parking Services program uses parking resources to promote a safer and more livable community.

Jeff Petry is parking and technology manager with the City of Eugene, Ore.

D.C. Ditches Parking for Drop-off, Pick-up Zones

On-street parking is being traded for curbside drop-off/pick-up zones in five places in Washington, D.C., as part of an expanding program.

The curb management program began at one spot on Connecticut Ave., near busy Dupont Circle. After a comment period, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced five more of the zones, which will operate 24/7 in other busy corridors. The zones, which will take away some on-street parking spaces, will both help carpoolers and ride-share users and increase pedestrian safety, officials said, and the program follows a model that has worked well during large-scale special events, such as papal visits. The zones are also opened to commercial vehicles making deliveries.

Read more here.

An Interesting Equation for Managing the Curb

By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

I recently read a Wired.com article entitled, “Uber Writes an Equation to Help Cities Measure–and Manage–the Curb”.

The equation devised by Uber is meant to help cities evaluate how efficiently they’re using this increasingly contested space.

Here is the article’s opening paragraph: “After years of neglect and scorn, this strip of urban infrastructure, long the sole domain of the meter maid, has gotten incredibly crowded. Bike- and scooter-share companies would love to park their wheels there. Transit agencies would love for drivers to stay out of their bus stops. Delivery drivers—the folks transporting businesses’ daily merchandise, the roughly 30 percent more UPS, FedEx, and USPS packages sent since five years ago, the 20 percent more takeout orders—would love to idle just outside their destinations. Ride-hailers like Uber and Lyft would love to pick up and drop off their passengers quickly and safely. Car owners would love to park there, ideally for free.”  Sound familiar?

IPMI’s 2018 Emerging Trends in Parking survey agrees.  The survey begins with a heading that reads, “It’s All About the Curb.” New lifestyles put transportation and mobility center-stage, shining a spotlight on curb management, alternative commuting methods, and parking.

In a report released last month, Uber and the transportation consultancy Fehr and Peers published what they’re calling a “curb productivity index.” It’s a way to figure out what the curb is doing for you. The equation is deceptively simple:

Activity/(Time x Space)

Activity is the number of passengers using the curb space by a specific mode, time is the duration of their usage, and space is the total amount of curb footage dedicated to that use.

The article provides several examples on how to apply this equation and suggests that it is “an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand way to communicate the benefits of turning over parking in very busy downtown centers to more productive uses.”

The full story can be accessed here.

What do you think of this approach?

Dennis Burns, CAPP, is regional vice president with Kimley-Horn.




Denver: A Model of Mobility

By Michelle W. Jones, CMP

This week I traveled to Denver for IPMI’s 2018 Leadership Summit. Boy, is it easy to get around here. I heard people used and enjoyed the A Line, Denver’s rail service, from the airport to downtown. Lots of us used transportation network company (TNC) rides to get around, and they were easy to find in the airport’s well-marked parking areas.

In the area around the hotel, there’s a plethora of parking options. And the city is easy to navigate and walkable. In my few days here, I have walked to several eateries and a couple of stores and noticed people getting around in all sorts of ways: skateboards, a rented e-scooter, bicycles, and a wheelchair. The sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic signals make it easy to get around safely.

Seven years ago I may have not paid close attention to such things, but now I can’t help but notice parking garages, or our members’ names on parking equipment, or really anything mobility-related. And my week in Denver has me curious: In what cities do you find it particularly easy to get from place to place? Please comment and let us know.

Michelle W. Jones, CMP, is IPMI’s director of convention and meeting services.