KHQ.COM – “America is running a failing transportation business.” That’s according to Lyft President and Co-Founder, John Zimmer who in his latest blog, predicted that “by 2025, private car ownership will all-but end in major U.S. cities.”
He goes on to make a case for his statement, pointing out that the average vehicle is only used 4% of the time and parked the remaining 96% of the time. Zimmer has observed that we currently live in a world built around cars. “Look at how much land is devoted to cars?—?and nothing else. How much space parked cars take up lining both sides of the street, and how much of our cities go unused covered by parking lots,” he says.
Zimmer suggests that if we could find a way to take most of those cars off the road, we’d have a world of less pollution, less traffic and be able to free up a lot of land that’s currently used for parking and roads.
“We’re on the cusp of nothing short of a transportation revolution,” he says, and “it is within our collective responsibility to ensure this is done in a way that improves quality of life for everyone.”
The argument could be made that this would never happen because cars, for many people are symbols of “freedom and identity,” but Zimmer says this is not the case with millennials [and perhaps subsequent generations]. “We see car ownership as a burden that is costing the average American $9,000 every year. The car has actually become more like a $9,000 ball and chain that gets dragged through our daily life. Owning a car means monthly car payments, searching for parking, buying fuel, and dealing with repairs.”
He then goes on to list some facts that back-up his opinion of millennials and cars. “The age of young people with driver’s licenses has been steadily decreasing ever since right around when I was born. In 1983, 92% of 20 to 24-year-olds had driver’s licenses. In 2014 it was just 77%. In 1983, 46% of 16-year-olds had licenses. Today it’s just 24%. All told, a millennial today is 30% less likely to buy a car than someone from the previous generation.”
“When networked autonomous vehicles come onto the scene, below the cost of car ownership, most city-dwellers will stop using a personal car altogether,” Zimmer says.
While it may be a while before this becomes a reality in the Inland NW, what do you think? Can you imagine a world where homes no longer need garages? Where streets no longer need parking?
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