Friday Funny: An Old Meme Scores Points Against New Transportation Tech

You remember the one showing the amount of space occupied by 60 people on a bike, 60 people on a bus, and 60 people in cars? It's also helpful for making a convenient point about Uber and self-driving cars.

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July 1, 2016, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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Jon Orcutt, communications and advocacy director for Transit center, turned a familiar image on its head this week, posting the following tweet:

You'll remember the original image, which Jon Orcutt references with apologies, from Twitter, Facebook, and, yes, Planetizen.

The point is fairly simple: a car is a car, and with the car comes inefficiencies with only theoretical potential for improvements. Ron Kilcoyne made a related point in November 2015 about the potential for autonomous vehicles to explode vehicles miles traveled, and the negative externalities that would come along with that "disruption"—even if congestion isn't one of them.

Regarding transportation network companies, the jury is still out on the effect on congestion of Uber and its brethren, and early efforts to connect TNCs with transitor paratransit, have yet to prove effective in reducing congestion or pollution.

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