Tag Archives: uber

Uber Joins Call for Mandated Mobility Features, Regulations

A bike lane improves mobility on a city streetUber, one of the granddaddies of transportation network companies, this week added its voice to those asking the U.S. Congress to prioritize the safety of bike and scooter users through a number of incentives:

  • New mobility infrastructure legislation that would require bike lanes be included on newly repaved roads according to a formula developed by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
  • Congestion pricing to help fund mobility infrastructure while decreasing traffic from single-occupant vehicles.

Uber’s City Mobility Campaign will support legislation that improves bike, scooter, and micro-mobility infrastructure. It issued a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure this week and plans to release a free data tool that will let cities and individuals understand and advocate for mobility improvements in their own areas using JUMP bike volume and city views. Read more here.

Gig Economy Legislation Has Wide-reaching Effects for TNCs

Uber and Lyft logos on a phoneUber, Lyft, and other transportation network companies (TNCs) may find themselves having to rethink their models if states and the federal government pass legislation limiting the so-called gig economy, where workers essentially freelance rather than being hired as full- or part-time workers.

Legislators in California and other states have begun working on laws that would greatly restrict the ability of companies–including TNCs–to hire gig workers. Some federal legislators are now saying they like the model those states have developed and wonder if national laws should follow suit. Lawmakers say limiting gig employment protects workers; TNCs and some drivers say it would devastate their ability to both hire and work as they wish.

Read the whole story here.

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.


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.

Eyes on the Trends

By Brian Shaw, CAPP

AS MOBILITY PROFESSIONALS, we have to try to stay aware of trends in our industry. Most of us were caught off guard with the advent of transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft and the impact they have had on curb space, traditional taxis, car-sharing, transit usage, parking demand, and traffic. What could be coming next that will affect our profession and industry? I will attempt to make some predictions, and I will be interested to see how right or wrong I am in the coming years.

Electrification of Transit Fleets

Batteries continue to get better. Consistent range, per­formance, and safety have made moving bus transit to an electric platform feasible, viable, and cost-effective. China has led the way in this trend, and North Amer­ican transit properties, universities, and airports have begun to transition their bus fleets to electric. Bus manufacturers have emerged who specialize in elec­tric buses while also collaborating with traditional bus companies on conversions.

EV Charging?

Many of us have installed electric-vehi­cle (EV) charging stations in our facil­ities. This may be due to a code require­ment or as a way to attract EV owners to park in our facilities. But the range for EVs has dramatically improved; some EVs can go 100, 200, or more miles on a charge. Is EV charging still needed at worksites as battery range im­proves? Should EV charging be done at home, and should EV charging be free? Should fast or slow chargers be the option?

Transportation Network Companies

Is the growing use of Lyft and Uber a prelude to how life will be with autonomous vehicles (AVs)? Will we own cars in the future and need to park them? How should our facilities be designed and what features do they need if the vehicles can park them­selves? For now, it may be prudent to develop staging areas for TNCs.

Pickup/Drop-off Curb Space

Given the increasing use of TNCs and the likely future advent of autonomous vehicles, our built environments will need to develop new design standards and op­erational use criteria to make the best use of limited curb space. Perhaps when parking demand declines, the curb space issue will be addressed by having fewer curbs in use for parking. At least for the foreseeable future, curb use and availability will remain a challenge.

Technology Instead of Travel

In more urban and suburban areas, this could lead to a growing need for short-term loading zones to accom­modate delivery activities. Commuters may commute less or to various remote locations to facilitate remote working/working from home, reducing demand for monthly permits and parking and increasing need for daily permits. Meetings may take place online with improving video conferencing, reducing mid-day trips and parking demand. Why go to the theater if you can see the next Oscar winner from home? If your dinner can be easily delivered from your favorite restaurant, why go out? This trend should reduce retail parking demand, but it will increase demand for curb and loading areas, particularly in urban settings.


Will microtransit services reduce parking demand? Are they shifting trips from transit or using a personal bike? Are these inducing travel by making it easier and faster to travel short distances? Dockless electric scooters are making inroads in some cities and are becoming more regulated. Perhaps converting or adding dockless device parking where bike parking is located is prudent. It remains to be seen if these microtransit services will be profitable and worth incorporating into planning processes. When mobility-as-a-service becomes possible, microtransit should have a place in travel planning and seamless paying.

LPR and Gateless Parking

Can parking garages and lots be operated with license plate recognition (LPR)-based payment and enforcement exclusively?

Have we seen the end of parking meters, pay stations, and gate arms? Can parking be factored into emerging mobility-as-a-service solutions via LPR? When parking facilities become staging areas for TNCs and/or autonomous vehicles, automated vehicle detection and payments will be needed. While vehicles could be equipped with a device like an E-ZPass, all vehicles have a license plate that is valid everywhere. Perhaps LPR

becomes a way for AVs to pay for parking/staging/charging at a parking facility. If that is the case, will gates and pay stations be necessary? Until cash is gone and humans no longer drive and park, parking equipment should continue to be useful. However, the day is coming when barrier-free, LPR-based parking payment and enforcement will be the norm.

Amplification of Transportation

Is it possible to crack the challenge of real-time ride-sharing—trip, location, and time? Is this service best accomplished with TNCs and ride-matching apps versus dedicated vehicles and routes? When AVs can carry larger passenger loads, perhaps services such as Chariot and RidePal will be economically viable. Until then, daily ride-matching apps seem to have found a viable place. Combining daily ride-matching with LPR-based parking management should allow use of preferred carpool parking and sharing commuting costs for daily carpools. Transit agencies have begun considering using TNCs to provide on-demand trans­portation, particularly for lightly used routes or during off-peak service hours. Arguably, TNCs can be a more cost-effective way to provide needed transportation when ridership loads are low.

Adaptive Reuse

Under what conditions does it make sense to pay the extra upfront costs for adaptive reuse (see p. 36 of the May 2019 issue for more)? Depending on the location of the facility, age, design, and ownership, it may or may not make financial sense to build a parking facility to accommodate an autonomous vehicle future. Can the property be redeveloped? If so, perhaps when parking demand declines to the point where a garage is no longer needed, it may be best to redevelop the property.

A growing aspect of our roles as parking and mobility professionals is to stay aware and informed of these and oth­er trends and advances in our profession. In some cases, our best approach is to wait and see how the trend plays out.

Read the article here.

BRIAN SHAW, CAPP, is executive director of parking and transportation at Stanford University, and co-chair of the IPMI Sustainability Committee. He can be reached at bshaw2@stanford.edu

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.

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.

Parking is a Civil Right

By Shawn Conrad, CAE

My family wanted to bring a grandparent to a family function but learned quickly that this task would not be easy to accomplish. The grandparent used a wheelchair and needed the services of a wheelchair-accessible van.

Calls were made to paratransit companies and it was rather eye-opening to find out there was a three-week waiting time and that a pick-up was not guaranteed due to the limited availability of vans equipped for this special transport. We ended up bringing a small celebration to the nursing home instead.

With this experience in mind, I was excited to read in the Washington Post’s Gridlock column that Uber plans to contract with a paratransit firm to provide drivers and vehicles to transport people with disabilities. The six cities getting this service will be Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, and the District of Columbia. Later this year, the program will expand to San Francisco and Los Angeles. This effort won’t solve the dilemma faced by 30 million people with mobility disabilities in the U.S., but it’s a start.

As an industry, we have a significant role to play in solving problems related to accessible parking and disabled placard and plate abuse. Access to transportation, including parking, is a civil right in this country. The IPMI-led Accessible Parking Coalition is working to make a difference.

If you’re aware of innovative programs and policies that others would benefit from knowing about, please share your resources with the APC website via their submission form at accessibleparkingcoalition.org/share.

Shawn Conrad, CAE, is IPMI’s CEO.

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.