Sharing Isn’t Caring In Transport: We Use The Word Two Ways, And Don’t Understand Either

Sharing Isn’t Caring In Transport: We Use The Word Two Ways, And Don’t Understand Either:

One of the more confusing words frequently associated with robocars  is “shared.” Unfortunately, this means two very different things, with quite different consequences.

Sometimes it refers to serial sharing, namely that one vehicle goes out and serves many customers, rather than being a privately owned vehicle. such as  Taxis, Uber and Lyft “ride share.”

In the taxi world, cars all wear out by the mile, not the year. In the private ownership world they are designed to wear out evenly between the two. Once cars wear out by the mile, it doesn’t matter at all how many people share them. If a car lasts 200,000 miles, it’s almost the same if one person uses it 10,000 miles a year for 20 years, or 5 people use it 50,000 miles for 4 years. It saves a small amount of capital. The number of cars you must make is equal to the number of miles cars travel divided by the number of miles a car lasts, no matter how many people share.

It is also used to refer to multiple people riding in the same vehicle, be it traditional carpooling, UberPool style true ride-sharing, or plain old transit services.

Riding together actually had a much larger effect on how many cars are made, because it reduces vehicle miles traveled, and again, the number of cars made is the VMT divided by the lifetime of the car in miles. Pooling means you get the same passenger miles traveled for fewer VMT.

Pooling also offers the ability to reduce congestion and increase the passenger capacity of our infrastructure. It can also be cheaper and use less energy per passenger, if done right. This is, of course, the common rationale behind transit.

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