One Stop Transportation Apps: The Future of Multimodal Travel
Cities have been chiseling away at the mountain of transportation problems we experience today for decades now, and if you live anywhere remotely close to a major city or highway, you know just how long road construction takes to complete and how insignificant the ROI is.
App developers took notice of this trend and realized just how many flaws make up the system and how it could be transformed.
Regardless of where you live, it’s nearly impossible to have not heard of the disruptive transportation apps Uber and Lyft. These tech giants have changed the way people travel quicker than most even realized it was happening. By giving users the option to be picked up at any location they please, owning your own car is becoming a thing of the past. There are a lot of unforeseen struggles that come with owning a car, rather it be the constant maintenance, weekly gas fill-ups, or nasty insurance agents you have to deal with. With outsourcing problems instead of fixing them internally becoming a popular practice, in personal and business settings, the convenient, cost effective ride sharing mobile app is an obvious superior over traditional transportation methods. What used to be a symbol of status and what every kid dreamed about getting is now looked at as an unneeded burden to the owner and the environment. That desire has now shifted towards owning the most innovative technology to help keep you in the social fast lane, ironically.
Although overall, traffic congestion still stands to be the worst problem we face, and even though ride sharing has put a small dent in it, there are still cars being put on the road through these services, whether or not it’s one person calling for a ride or a group of ten. To combat the congestion dilemma, the mobile transportation giants are now partnering with electric bike and scooter sharing companies which have taken cities by storm.
When it comes to competition, Lyft is the obvious leader in this category. According to KristenKorosec from TechCrunch, Lyft has invested $100 million in Citi Bike through its Motivate bike-share brand, with plans to expand their fleet to 40,000 bikes in the next 4 years. Lyft is now the largest bike-sharing service in North America and does not show any signs of slowing down.
Unfortunately, some cities are experiencing more problems than others. Over the past decade, Denver, Colorado has dumped more than $4.7 billion into its public transportation system by adding 122 miles of brand-new light rail, commuter trains, and rapid bus lines, but things didn’t go as planned– citizens just wouldn’t utilize the services, no matter how many changes were made. To date, transit ridership has actually declined, and drivers are putting more miles on the roads than before. The launch of apps like Lyft and Uber certainly didn’t help the cities cases, but these tech giants were not just going to sit around and watch the cities that houses their customers fall apart.
Instead, Uber and Lyft are now partnering with various cities around the US to help their users find the best transportation methods possible, even if it doesn’t financially benefit the company. When you would originally open the apps, you would typically see options for ride sharing or bike locating services, but now you will be able to select public transit options like busses or commuter trains. Thanks to the app’s integration to public transit, users can now pick from a multitude of transportation services that best fits their time sensitive needs.
The transportation industry is evolving and will eventually take form of something entirely different than were used to. Soon, all our transportation needs will be at the tip of our fingers. Whether it be never owning your own car, never driving a car, or even never riding in a car, technology is going to be responsible for the extreme changes we are going to experience, and you can either sit back and watch, or take charge and lead the change, reaping the benefits along the way.
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