Smartphones interact with the other pillars of the sharing economy—excess capacity and urbanism—to facilitate the use of ride-sharing and other services in cities.
Proximity and density are the key variables for the sharing economy, by lowering costs and raising volumes enough to make services both affordable (for riders) and profitable (for drivers).
The sharing economy is built on three pillars: Excess resource capacity; mobile internet; and urbanism.
As with physical sprawl, social sprawl generally causes fuel consumption to increase, through initiating several mechanisms leading to both increased vehicle ownership and increased vehicle travel.
Sprawl has a major impact on travel by extending trip distances in urban landscapes as well as creating a need for additional vehicle trips, by undermining the walkability as well as the densities needed for transit.
If the ability to pay for a new automobile is impaired by the taxation of student debt forgiveness, the costs of vehicle ownership relative to available household funds could escalate beyond affordability.
Transportation revolutions occur every 50 years. Could the world now be experiencing the beginning of a new paradigm with ride-sharing, autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, and similar emerging technologies?
While transit vehicles have become substantially more fuel efficient in recent years, declining ridership makes it very hard to take full advantage of these gains in efficiency.
Between 1950 and 1980, central city densities plunged, VMT soared, and transit ridership plummeted. Many commentators have speculated whether renewed “urbanization” will lead to large reductions in vehicle ownership and VMT.
Clear recognition of the link between urban design and VMT is crucial to understanding the relevance of urban planning movements pursuing “compact development” to reduce fuel consumption and oil dependence
Portland, Oregon has higher transit ridership levels and lower vehicle miles traveled (VMT) than other metro areas of similar population.
Understanding the “urbanization of the suburbs” may provide insight into future vehicle ownership levels and in turn fuel demand. At the margin, would changes in suburban design prompt households to reduce vehicle ownership?
Monthly debt payments of several hundred dollars, or more, mean that personal vehicle ownership may become impacted. At the margin, households may choose to own fewer vehicles to account for the need to make student loan payments.
If future population growth occurs in suburbs of lower-density and higher income, then vehicle ownership will likely rise, whereas if future population growth gathers in higher-density, lower-income cities, vehicle ownership may decline.
The largest proportion of commuting in U.S. metropolitan areas occurs from suburb-to-suburb, standing at 40 percent of metropolitan commuters as of 2015.
The average light-duty vehicle now remains in service for over three years longer than it did two decades ago. With vehicles “living” longer, the fleet will take longer to replace itself.
The suggested dramatic reduction in urban vehicle purchases is not corroborated by U.S. Census data on household vehicle ownership.
Fuel efficiency standards and the long-term saturation of VMT are key factors that could have a major impact on reducing foreign petroleum dependence in the transportation sector.