The problem with most mass transit systems is not a bulk of the trip; it is getting people between the transit stations and their homes – known as the “last mile challenge.” Communities of all sizes have been struggling with this problem for decades, with building commuter lots as a typical solve.
Now, Uber is positioning itself as a viable solution to make that last mile easier. The ride-hailing service has made a deal with Summit, New Jersey, to launch a subsidized commuter program.
Under the deal, Uber will provide free or heavily discounted rides to commuters at Summit’s New Jersey Transit station, with the city paying Uber directly to cover the costs of the trips. The city says the deal will free up nearly 100 parking spots while preventing additional parking lots/spaces from being built at an estimated cost of $10 million.
While this may be a good deal to solve the “last mile” problem, and may make sense in certain communities, it does mask the “high cost of free or subsidized parking.”
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