Uber & Lyft as a source of congestion

HelloBostonHi

Active Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
610
Reaction score
359
And only raise $100M per year doing it... that's not all that much, actually.
Arguably raising the TNC fee is more about discouraging TNC use and encouraging transit use by making TNCs the more expensive option than it is about an actual revenue source.
 

meddlepal

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
1,456
Reaction score
163
Arguably raising the TNC fee is more about discouraging TNC use and encouraging transit use by making TNCs the more expensive option than it is about an actual revenue source.
$0.80 isn't gonna discourage me from using TNC over mass transit.
 

sneijder

New member
Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
85
Reaction score
20
$0.80 isn't gonna discourage me from using TNC over mass transit.
It might not sway most users but I think a $9 vs $10 ride will push maybe 10 or 15% of riders over the edge on the margin. And frankly Uber still feels "underpriced" compared to its alternatives (paying for insurance/maintenance/gas/loans for your own car). The fact that you can get a for-hire private driver to pick you up in your own limo for about $5 more than taking the bus is ridiculous. That's why some actually commute round-trip with TNC nowadays instead of taking transit.
 

ant8904

Active Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
608
Reaction score
2
To remind everyone, before Uber and Lyft first arrived in Boston, people my age (so Millennials in a time when Millennial was still the "youngest" demographic versus "Gen Z" now) did not use taxis. It was just too expensive while also too inconvenient to access. It was a last resort, as in like no other way to carry the luggage to the airport or super drunk with too far/cold/hard to get home any other way.

But with Uber and Lyft arriving, it was just inexpensive enough (and also reliable and "transparent") that we would actually use for more than just the nightclub or the airport. And back then, Uber and Lyft was priced just a bit lower than Taxis.

However, Uber and Lyft has cut fares far lower since back then. These days, the fares are low enough that it can compete on whether we want to hop on the T versus an Uber.

Raising the fee to $1 still make it cheaper than what the fares was back then and make Rideshares compete more at the Taxi level where it should be competing against versus Public Transit where it shouldn't be trying to draw people off. Though I have to note I kinda wouldn't mind the fare going up too. I mean the low fare is great for me as a consumer. But I feel bad for the driver and I know I wasn't priced out paying more back then.
 

guitarguynboston

New member
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
91
Reaction score
87
While I agree public transportation is the best but I think(if forget the different names) Ubers that are shared should have a smaller fee if any than an Uber or Lyft for one party. At least with ride sharing you are dropping people off and then bringing people out as oppessed to someone getting dropped off who's then car needs to leave with out any traveler. Then causing more traffic and pollution.
 

sm89

Active Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
889
Reaction score
18
I think many people have forgotten how cheap taxis are. Anytime there is a uber or lyft surcharge, I've found a taxi to be cheaper. Typically when the surcharge is due to demand, not traffic though.

For example, 2am on a Saturday night uber/lyft Boston to Cambridge is $25 versus $12 for taxi.
 

fattony

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
1,948
Reaction score
98
I think many people have forgotten how cheap taxis are. Anytime there is a uber or lyft surcharge, I've found a taxi to be cheaper. Typically when the surcharge is due to demand, not traffic though.

For example, 2am on a Saturday night uber/lyft Boston to Cambridge is $25 versus $12 for taxi.
Yeah, but how do you get a taxi? We never had enough taxis to have a fully functioning "hail a taxi" system. Hailable taxi's only served major destinations which is fine if you are partying on Landsdowne St., but gets you nothing if you are 4-5 blocks away or godforbid at your home in a residential neighborhood. That is a big reason why I (as one of the aforementioned millennials, albeit an "elder millennial") barely used taxis, but took to TNCs easily.



Back to the main topic at hand, I think increasing the fee is helpful, even if this increase isn't enough to make a huge dent. Its a step in the right direction and we can observe the effect. In another year, we can increase the fee to $2.50 and observe more. Another year after that... All the while, we will be funneling increasing amounts of new funds into public transit.
 

cburns

New member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
76
Reaction score
1
Why should users of TNC carry the burden? People taking taxis should have to pay the same surcharge.... if you distill it down, it's the exact same fundamental service.

While we're at it, how about having a serious discussion on Beacon Hill about permitting congestion charge pricing south of Assembly, north of Neponset, east Newton, etc. And personal vehicles should be charged for entering Logan property. Period.

They congestion is coming from people driving their personal vehicle into the hub.... go after them for funding the T as well versus picking winners and losers in the current mix.
 

HenryAlan

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
2,288
Reaction score
280
Why should users of TNC carry the burden? People taking taxis should have to pay the same surcharge.... if you distill it down, it's the exact same fundamental service.
Not until TNCs are required to obtain medallions (or medallions for taxis are eliminated).
 

jass

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
4,659
Reaction score
137
To remind everyone, before Uber and Lyft first arrived in Boston, people my age (so Millennials in a time when Millennial was still the "youngest" demographic versus "Gen Z" now) did not use taxis. It was just too expensive while also too inconvenient to access. It was a last resort, as in like no other way to carry the luggage to the airport or super drunk with too far/cold/hard to get home any other way.
Back in my day, we used to walk back from Chinatown to BU, in the snow, at 2am because that was your only option.

I think many people have forgotten how cheap taxis are. Anytime there is a uber or lyft surcharge, I've found a taxi to be cheaper. Typically when the surcharge is due to demand, not traffic though.

For example, 2am on a Saturday night uber/lyft Boston to Cambridge is $25 versus $12 for taxi.
Irs crazy in NYC to see how many people call Ubers to JFK. Taxis have a fixed rate of $52 to Manhattan! I frequently see Uber at $75+

And theres no wait for taxis, literally a line of them just waiting.

Mind you this is also true of Amazon. It used to always be cheaper, and people assume it still is. It's not!
 

bakgwailo

Active Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
950
Reaction score
51
Why should users of TNC carry the burden? People taking taxis should have to pay the same surcharge.... if you distill it down, it's the exact same fundamental service.

While we're at it, how about having a serious discussion on Beacon Hill about permitting congestion charge pricing south of Assembly, north of Neponset, east Newton, etc. And personal vehicles should be charged for entering Logan property. Period.

They congestion is coming from people driving their personal vehicle into the hub.... go after them for funding the T as well versus picking winners and losers in the current mix.
Except it has been studied Uber/Lyfts are contributing to congestion and grid lock in a not so minor way. Taxis had this problem, too, which lead (among other things) to the medallion system to artificially limit the number of cabs on the road, and thus limit the impact on congestion. In addition to that, Uber at least is pretty unfair in competition - it used billions in VC to artificially subsidize the cost of rides undercutting the existing competition. There is no way that a local Taxi company is competing with that. Now that they are public, they are going to eventually have to stop bleeding billions a quarter. Lastly, Uber/Lyft rides disproportionately poach riders from MBTA trips, not personal vehicles - 60% being MBTA/biking/walking, and only 41% displaced taking their own car (or taxi).
 

erom

New member
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
15
I've never been threatened for not carrying cash when the credit card machine is "broke" in a rideshare, and I've never had a rideshare driver try to run the meter. Also when a rideshare driver isn't going to show up to get you, the app lets you know and a replacement shows up a few minutes later. Not like taxis who basically show up when they feel like it if at all when you call for one.

Eventually, VC's will get sick of bleeding cash and rideshare prices will rise. And if they take the taxi industry down with them, so much the better. (Seriously screw taxis).
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,217
Reaction score
413
And only raise $100M per year doing it... that's not all that much, actually.
But if you used it to create a 20-year municipal Bond, wouldn't allow up to 2 billion" dollars in borrowing (and spending to spend on the streets and transit?)

*Somebody who knows the real rule of thumb and interest rates we'll make a better number, but the point is it is more than a billion you can spend today on making things better.
 

HenryAlan

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
2,288
Reaction score
280
Depends on what kind of interest rate. I used 5% for simplicity, which would mean that $100,000,000 per year would fund a $1.246 billion bond. What could the 'T really do with that amount? Is there a 20 year transformative project that only costs one and a quarter billion dollars?
 

bakgwailo

Active Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
950
Reaction score
51
I've never been threatened for not carrying cash when the credit card machine is "broke" in a rideshare, and I've never had a rideshare driver try to run the meter.
Am I the only one who never had this as an issue (either here or NYC)? If they say they don't take cards, I say that's nice I'm not paying then. If they try to give me shite after that, then I already have my cell phone out and offer to call 911. Its amazing how quickly the "broken" credit card machine magically works again. Really never had much grief other than that. Cabs in Naples, on the other hand, are crazy scams.
 

Top