Currently, we are seeing a worldwide shift in how people are using transportation. Due to technological advancements like self-driving cars and rideshare apps, such as Uber and Lyft, the industries that surround transportation are facing major changes. So far, local and federal governments have primarily stayed out of these shifts. However, eventually, the infrastructure of how we run our society is going to have to take these changes into account. We’ve recently seen this with the Federal investments towards self-driving car infrastructure, which was discussed on our blog. Now, however, we’re starting to see movement at the local government level for bringing rideshare apps further into our communities.
Recently, in April, the city of Altamonte Springs, Florida, a suburb nearby Orlando, became the first city in the United States to officially offer a subsidy to a rideshare company when they granted a $1.5 million subsidy to Uber. This subsidy is meant to provide a low-cost method of mass transportation to people who are using it within city limits, as it will cover 20% of the cost of any fare that begins or ends there. This is great news to many in the city, as the current public transit system is seen as highly inadequate, as the surrounding area has a low population density and depends on vehicle transportation.
Subsidizing a new world of transportation
The subsidies in Altamonte Springs are likely the first of a wave of new approaches towards using rideshare apps as a public transportation tool. Because they only offer the reduced fare to rides that begin or in end in city limits, these subsidies work as a way to stimulate the local economy, and get people to businesses in the area. Currently, the world of transportation is changing, and governments around the country and the world will need to modify their policies to adapt to this new world, or else face the possibility of becoming irrelevant, which will lead to negative migration and job creation for many areas.
Other city partnerships
Although Altamonte Springs is the first American city to subsidize Uber, or other rideshare apps, there are many examples of cities who have taken action to create partnerships with these businesses. This includes promoting the service among its population, especially as a method to go from major transportation hubs in their cities to places that buses and trains don’t reach.