Taxi Sharing Begins in NYC
During the MTA strike of 2005, people picked up random passengers and New Yorkers shared cabs with each other because it made sense. As soon as necessity for such activities dwindled and the MTA started (haggardly) running again, people stopped. It was kind of like when folks jammed into commuter trains and mass transit when gas prices were high. And as soon as they were (foolishly) low again, people stopped.
This week, a new era of common sense begins. Taxi sharing is back. The city is rolling out a plan on Friday to make certain cabs run like buses. They will have designated pick up stations with specific drop off regions. Those all happen to be on Park Ave right now, which I can’t quite make sense of. But I guess they had to start somewhere. From 6AM to 10AM during weekday rush hours, you will be able to utilize this service.
– W. 57th St. and Eighth Ave. with dropoffs allowed on Park Ave. between 57th St. until 42nd St.
– W.72nd St. and Columbus Ave. with dropoffs on Park Ave. from 72nd St. to 42nd St.
– E. 72nd St. and Third Ave. with dropoffs on Park Avenue from 72nd St. to 42nd St.
While this is only a very small slice of the city, it might be a good indication of how this could work on a larger scale. Crosstown traffic = painful experience. And the lack of underground transportation options (the 7 and S excluded) makes above ground situations intense. And half the time it seems that the majority of street traffic is taxis. So perhaps this will help alleviate some of that. Drivers will make more from less driving, which hopefully means they can eventually work less hours, which means fewer taxis on the road at once. And as far as passengers go, we save money and time, which are synonymous in this city. I am however curious about etiquette. I can just see the campaign for, “No cell phone usage in shared taxis!”
I am maybe getting ahead of myself here though. Let’s see how Friday goes.