The ongoing changes in the nature of urban transportation is one of the topics I find incredibly interesting, and ensuring the transformation is done in an equitable fashion is essential to ensuring our cities work for everyone, not just the (shrinking) middle-class and those even wealthier.
Tech companies also seem to understand this, and are positioning themselves to be essential to the future of urban transit. Uber seems to be taking an aggressive approach to try to capture as much of the market for itself as possible — and is running into an increasing wave of opposition, particularly in London — while Lyft and Google look to be positioning themselves as platforms for urban services. However, we also need to ask ourselves if we want private companies to monopolize particular aspects of our cities, particularly who would benefit and whether their incentives are aligned with those of residents.
The acceleration of the transformation also makes this a particularly exciting time. Yes, there is some disruption in the switch from personal vehicles to transit, cycling, and walking, but there are also significant health and social benefits. A new report suggests that this shift will also reduce inequality, which has become one of the defining issues of our time.
As always, feel free to let me know what you think of this issue on Twitter, and make sure to share it with anyone you think will be interested.