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Ridesharing Doesn't End the Transportation Problem

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  • Tip Bones

Don't get me wrong: I think that ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber are important and useful additions to almost any phone. But, as convenient as having a made-to-order ride show up at your location can be, it doesn't eliminate the problems of mass transit in every corner of the world. Sometimes, the ride just isn't cost effective, environmentally friendly, or even helpful to traffic congestion.

First, the cost of ridesharing varies greatly, and based upon when you order, it could be an inexpensive lift, or a huge taxi fare. For short rides, this isn't usually a problem. Even a huge surge price can equate to comparatively little in short distances. But consider riders who live in city outskirts, or in large, sprawling cities. The ride becomes prohibitively expensive, and that encourages use of a personal vehicle, which of course many now reject because of the environmental impact.

Speaking of the environment, if a city is filled with empty Ubers, or ones that have to drive back and forth long distances, then it's not necessarily more efficient at all. If I live 10 miles outside of a city, and hail a Lyft, they have to drive TO me, into the city, and possibly back again, for a minimum total of 30 miles. Meanwhile, I could have driven only 20 in my own car.

But what about all the other cars that ridesharing takes off the road? Isn't the street less crowded? Not really. Traffic is more than just the number of cars on the same road at any given time. It's also due to delays, accidents, and even following too close, which causes slowing traffic as others behind you are forced to correct and spend time clearing the jam. Mass transit options like subways, buses, and commuter trains are much more efficient ways of moving lots of people at once than ridesharing can reasonably hope to be.

Ridesharing is good, just not perfect!

Photo: Pixabay