While Uber is currently used mainly as a taxi substitute/alternative, services like Uber (or Lyft) could be used in a number of other fashions as well.
One example is the way that the town of Summit, New Jersey, is now using the service as part of a new pilot program that aims to potentially reduce congestion at the parking lots used by the town’s train station.
The train station in question is a common point of departure for those who work in or near New York City, so it is heavily used by commuters. Naturally, this leads to traffic.
Green Car Reports provides more: “The program is the first of its kind in New Jersey, and will allow the town to avoid spending money on a new parking lot, according to The Verge. … Initially, 100 commuters who have purchased parking passes will be eligible for free Uber rides to and from the station. Others will be able to ride for $2.00 each way, meaning a round trip will cost the same as a daily parking pass at the station. During the experiment, these rides will be subsidized by the local government.”
The pilot program follows on the launch of a similar one in the Orlando suburb of Altamonte Springs, Florida — where Uber rides within in the city (start and finish) are subsidized by 20%. A 25% subsidy applies to trips to and from SunRail train stations.
If such programs prove successful at notably reducing the need for parking lots near train stations, bus stations, etc., expect to see them spread rapidly, especially once commercial self-driving taxis become a reality.
Photos by Uber and Dougtone (CC BY-SA)
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