Transportation As A Service

David Roberts reports on a private sector initiative to help people in sprawling southwestern cities give up their cars.

Instead of buying a two-ton vehicle that will sit idle 90 percent of the time, sucking up gas and maintenance and insurance money, you buy access to transportation whenever you need it. All the hassle of car ownership is gone. There’s just a monthly subscription fee.

This is the promise of sharing economies: A shift from ownership to access. A substitution of intelligence for materials. A reduction in resource consumption without a reduction in quality of life.

I still miss living in cities which were built when a low-tech version of this sort of thing was normal. Car-centric cities are ugly to my eye.

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