Welcome to Move Forward’s weekly news wrap-up, featuring the mobility stories you don’t want to miss. Today’s topics include predictions on how autonomous vehicles will impact the U.S. economy, a new report shedding light on ride-sharing labor conditions, suggested congestion charges for NYC, and more.
Self-Driving Policy 3.0:
At last week’s summit on automated vehicle policy, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao explained the AV 3.0 framework, which includes guidance for mass transit, rail and, trucking. Among the framework guidelines, the Department promises to remain tech neutral, leaving the market to “determine the most effective solutions,” while also keeping safety as the main priority.
Smart Cities Dive: “Stakeholders convene for USDOT public hearing on AV policy” by Kristin Musulin, March 2, 2018.
AVs spur economic development:
The White House and Republican politicians have now signaled they are in favor of autonomous vehicles, citing the expected economic development associated with the production of this technology. “With the AV industry estimated to become a $7 trillion market by 2050, political leaders have seized on the opportunity to attract jobs and investments to their constituencies.”
Eno Transportation Weekly: “White House Frames AVs as an Opportunity for Economic Growth” by Greg Rogers, March 2, 2018.
The reality of ride-sharing labor conditions:
A new paper published by MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research found that ride-hailing drivers make as little as $8.55 per hour, before taxes. Originally, the paper reported that the median profit was $3.37 an hour for drivers, but the authors released a new analysis following criticism from Uber. These findings raise new concerns about labor standards in the sharing economy, as Uber and Lyft face continuous scrutiny over their treatment of drivers.
The Guardian: “Uber drivers often make below minimum wage, report finds” by Sam Levin, March 5, 2018.
Tech transforms infrastructure:
In a piece for Governing, two researchers at the University of California at Berkeley explain how emerging technology can transform the U.S. infrastructure and benefit all parties. “This moment in time feels special, and America stands at the forefront of this unique era of innovation – with an investment from Washington, the U.S. can harness those transformative ideas and use them to shape new infrastructure and create an energized 21st century era of growth.”
Governing: “How Emerging Technologies Could Transform Infrastructure” by Anthony Barrs and Baiyu Chen, March 6, 2018.
Chicago to improve transit conditions:
Chicago’s new “Safe and Secure” initiative will provide Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) rail stations with $33 million in safety improvements. The upgrades will be paid for by charging an extra 15-cent per ride fee for ride-share users– a new surcharge on top of an existing 52-cent city fee.
Smart Cities Dive: “Chicago launches $33M transit safety improvement initiative” by Katie Pyzyk, March 6, 2018.
Congestions Charges in NYC:
To offset congestion in New York City, a new report suggests charging operating fees for “for-hire vehicles” during peak business hours, including ride-share and taxi cabs. Created by prominent transportation expert, Bruce Schaller, the suggested charges are based off current parking garage prices in Manhattan. “It takes high parking fees to really discourage people from driving into Manhattan. Uber and Lyft and taxi passengers need the same price signals.”
The New York Times: “If Your Uber Ride Cost an Extra $50, Would You Still Take It?” by Winnie Hu, March 7, 2018.
Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.