Saturday, July 27, 2019

The View From New York City

Uber and Lyft are cited as partial support for the thesis. But somebody has to own a car for that to work. Declining car ownership world-wide is also cited. More likely that means the steady rise in ownership has peaked. Decline does not mean cars are disappearing, or that we are all Uber now. Most if us still live in any city but NYC, and need a car for almost everything modern life demands. Houston is the 4th largest city in the country, and no closer to mass transit that isn't freeway based than it was before I-10, the major east-west street, was widened to one of the largest on the planet. There's a 250 mile loop under construction around the city, the third one. Uber is not gonna fill that thing, nor are buses. If history is any guide, it will be filled as soon as it is finished.

And self-driving cars are so far away they will remain figments of our imagination for the foreseeable future. The argument is those will eliminate private ownership, too. Who will own them, I wonder? The same cities that can barely afford garbage trucks (yes, I speak from experience)? The cities that need federal funds to afford buses designed to carry 50 at once, not just one? The number of cars will stay the same, just the ownership will shift to: all of us?

Is this a joke?

1 comment:

  1. There is no class of people more delusional than the upper-income folk of New York City. The mid-brow-middle-class of that area come close and match them in many cases. Or maybe that's my recent experience talking. So many of them are totally clueless about life outside of their bubble. I know more people outside of it who understand life inside of it than those inside have a wider understanding. A bubble made of one-way mirror.