×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Smartphones May Help Reduce Traffic In the Near Future

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the watch-out-for-the-regulatory-capture dept.

Transportation 144

crazyvas writes "From the New York Times: 'Experts say services that use smartphones to connect drivers and passengers could help end the reign of single-occupant cars (and unending traffic) in Los Angeles.' One would hope that combined with a recent article from Time stating that Generation Y doesn't think car ownership is cool this might pave the way for less car traffic, more efficient public transit, more pedestrians and bikers, even leading to a healthier population?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

144 comments

Link is broken (4, Informative)

HalcyonBlue (596712) | about 9 months ago | (#44269251)

Re:Link is broken (3, Insightful)

Flozzin (626330) | about 9 months ago | (#44269361)

Thanks for the link.

They are taxi's that found a loop hole and will soon be shut down. It's unfair to the real taxis and the government isn't getting their cut. This won't last.

Also the article sites people using them as an alternative to taxis when coming home from the bar. Yes, that's a good way to watch a car trend. Since drunk driving is illegal, and these people are using 'taxis', they don't want cars and no longer ride alone...

These articles are just writers trying to get out ahead of a trend. If they are wrong no one will remember, if they are right, they can point to how they saw the trend comming. They are BS articles filled with outlier data. I'd be more apt to believe Gen Y doesn't want cars because they are all deep in debt due to college and don't have jobs to pay for them.

Re:Link is broken (1)

halexists (2587109) | about 9 months ago | (#44269781)

What does it mean to be "unfair to the real taxis?"

Re:Link is broken (3, Informative)

Flozzin (626330) | about 9 months ago | (#44270041)

The ride sharing services, are trying to skirt the law. They are taxis but they try to act like they are somehow something else. As if they are just all friends giving each other rides, thus the name..

from the article,
"In addition to franchise and inspection fees, regulated taxis have to serve far-flung and low-income parts of the city where Lyft drivers need not venture. The city also requires cab companies to offer disabled-accessible vehicles, "

The ride sharing services don't have to do any of that.

Re:Link is broken (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 9 months ago | (#44270023)

Okay, what's wrong with "grey market" (or whatever you want to call them) taxis?

A guy has a car and would like some money. Another guy has some money and would like a ride. They trade, and now both are better off than they were before. What's wrong with this?

Re:Link is broken (2)

Flozzin (626330) | about 9 months ago | (#44270115)

And that is not a taxi service how? There are regulations set up for taxis that they must follow. The government and people of the city/state/

If you want to argue on if the government should be involved in this sort of transaction, that's another conversation.

Also, disagreeing with a law, doesn't give you the right to skirt it. We have a system in place to change laws. Use it. In the mean time if you wish to live in this society, obey its laws.(this is more of a general statement against a ton of people lately that seem to think that breaking the law is ok if you don't think its just, not necessarily you entroplus)

Re:Link is broken (1)

Flozzin (626330) | about 9 months ago | (#44270141)

erm...apparently i never finished my sentence... The government and people of the city/state/county/ect saw fit to put them in place to make sure the taxis would not descriminate against different classes of people.

Re:Link is broken (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#44270301)

And that is not a taxi service how?

It is not a taxi service because the transaction is pre-negotiated with a specific driver. When I hail a taxi off the street, I do not know the driver, he does not know me, and at least one of us usually does not want to negotiate the fare (me on a rainy night; him at a taxi-stand with twenty other cabs). So it is reasonable for the government to step in with regulations and standard fares. But with ride sharing, I can read the driver's reviews and ratings, and negotiate the rate in the comfort of my home or office. It is a different type of transaction.

The real problem here is not "regulation", but pricing. In nearly all cities, taxi fares are far above what they would be in a competitive market, which results in under utilization. Maybe we should fix the taxi system instead of trying to outlaw the competition.

Re:Link is broken (1)

Flozzin (626330) | about 9 months ago | (#44270445)

Well, it doesn't sound like its flying. I know of other articles that have talked about them getting shut down in cities. If the legal definition of a taxi relies on you not picking a driver and them having standard fairs, that strikes me as odd. I am open to being wrong. But I would have thought a taxi service is someone taking me from A to B for a charge.

Re:Link is broken (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#44270639)

But I would have thought a taxi service is someone taking me from A to B for a charge.

Nope. Limousine drivers provide that service, and they are not regulated or licensed as taxis, and there is no government price-fixing of their rates*. They do have to have a "chauffeur" driver's license, but that is just a little extra testing and a small fee beyond a normal driver's license.

*One exception: There is usually a government enforced racket to jack up prices for limos and shuttles going to/from airports. So there is usually a special permit required for that. When I have taken a ride share to an airport, the driver usually asks me to pay before reaching the drop off, so the government goons patrolling the curb don't see the money changing hands.

Re:Link is broken (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 9 months ago | (#44270469)

In the mean time if you wish to live in this society, obey its laws.

Wrong.

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it

Often the first step of this Right (and duty) is to disobey unjust laws, created by a government that has passed laws to favor the wealthy and well-connected, instead of those in the best interests of the governed.

Sorry, but no one is riding with me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269259)

I don't want all my shit jacked and to end up in a ditch kthx

Generation Y (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269279)

No one gives a shit what generation Y thinks 'is cool'. A car is a necessity in LA because of how spread out everything is, and if you work downtown, you sure as hell don't live there. The kind of people who make their fiscal decisions based on a cool factor also tend to not work, so I'd sure as hell not carpool with them.

Re:Generation Y (3, Informative)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 9 months ago | (#44269371)

Did you RFTA? It doesn't say they don't *drive* - It says millennials don't care about *owning* cars. They're fine with car sharing, car co-ops and using alternate transportation methods. My wife has a large circle of younger cousins (Catholic family) and they're all like this - All in their 20s and not one of them owns a car.

Re:Generation Y (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#44269741)

My wife has a large circle of younger cousins (Catholic family) and they're all like this - All in their 20s and not one of them owns a car.

How many of those can reasonably afford a car? Because I didn't have a car either in my 20s until I was making enough that payments/repairs/gas wouldn't take most of my income.

Re:Generation Y (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 9 months ago | (#44269793)

How many of those can reasonably afford a car?

Could they afford to pick up a used Civic or Focus on Craigslist? Sure. They just choose not to.

Re:Generation Y (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#44269843)

If you think of a used car only in terms of the initial sales price, you are silly.

Read my post again, if the car is taking most of your income (it will on minimum wage), that doesn't count as reasonable.

Re:Generation Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44270425)

When I was a young, feckless 20-something, I went out and bought an older Honda Accord on a loan from a credit union. The credit union, of course, required full insurance on the property used to secure the loan (the car). Insuring my $2500 Honday cost $255.00 a month - more than I was paying in car payments, and a significant chunk of my income.

Re:Generation Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269791)

And how many have enough money to buy themselves a car in the first place?

Re:Generation Y (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 9 months ago | (#44270113)

It says millennials don't care about *owning* cars. ... My wife has a large circle of younger cousins (Catholic family) and they're all like this - All in their 20s and not one of them owns a car.

Is it that they don't care about owning cars, or is it that owning a car is too expensive for young people in a tough job market?

My sense is that in walkable/bikable areas (like large cities in the Northeast U.S.), many people don't own cars. This has been true for generations. And for those who do, they don't tend to buy one until they are older, have a family, become more established in their jobs, etc. With kids, they find a greater need for a car sometimes, and with a steady job for a few years, they might be able to afford insurance, maintenance, loans, etc. for a big purchase like a car.

When I lived in such a place for a while (and was in my 20s), I ended up getting rid of my car when I moved in with my wife. To family members and friends who lived elsewhere in the country, they thought this was a little weird if not insane -- "You won't have your own car anymore?" But my wife and both had cars, and the cost of insurance and maintenance for two cars in a walkable city just didn't make sense. So why would I keep owning one, let alone buying a new one?

Also, I really think the family angle needs to be highlighted -- for single "millennials" (or even couples) in their 20s, living without a car can seem easy. Once you're in your 30s or 40s and have kids to haul around, it can become a lot harder to live most places without a car. Single people I know in big cities often don't own a car, even in their 50s or 60s.

Maybe we're just seeing a trend where young people are putting off purchasing a car, even if they don't tend to live in a big city, for similar reasons in tough economic times. Rather that just "buy an old junker" like kids might have a generation or two ago, they just wait until they have the money and/or need it (like when they have a family).

Let's wait a decade or so until millennials actually "grow up" and see whether owning a car still is "not cool" to them.

Re:Generation Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44270855)

Being without a car might be cool, same with the fixie bike, but there is one bad thing about it:

It decreases mobility. My older brother's generation virtually all had cars, and on weekends, they would get the heck out of town, head to the coast, head to a city 300 miles away, head to a farm out in the country. My generation had cars, and we would drive 100-150 miles into rural areas for a decent rave.

With the pride at being car-free, it means one is stuck in a city core, getting a Zipcar (possibly not an option) or at best having to parasite off of someone who has a vehicle. Public transportation is fine in some spots, but in most of the US, it is woefully inadequate, plain and simple.

Once you get past the "party-hearty" years, you start realizing that cities are not safe places to raise children. One moment of inattention, and a low-life will have the child thrown into the back of a van. Parks are the property of the local gangs. There is no going out of an apartment complex after dark. Police protection is them handing out report forms after the incident happened. Inner city schools are a guarentee of future failure for the child, unless one wants a gangbanger or a prison inmate. Finally, with the fact that most of the US is under the thumb of private prisons, it doesn't take much for one's kid to be arrested.

The millennials will learn that cars are useful when they have kids and find that the same streets that are great for hitting the coffee shop, then getting wasted at night are completely unsafe for kids.

Other countries have livable cities. Here in the US, that isn't the case, and if you value your life or family's well-being, you get to the suburbs or rural areas where either the police are responsive (the city funds them and not the big sports stadium), or you are allowed to defend yourself.

I think once millennials start having children, if they value them at all, they will be high-tailing it out of the inner cities. It isn't cool to emulate parents, but if they want their kids to play in parks without syringes buried in the sand by the swingset, eventually they will get cars.

Re:Generation Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44270417)

Didn't think it was possible to misspell acronyms, but ...poor little article being subjected to abuse...

Re:Generation Y (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 9 months ago | (#44270455)

I wonder where they got their polling data. If it was all in the cities it would make sense. Head a few miles outside of a major city and you NEED a car to do anything

Re:Generation Y (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | about 9 months ago | (#44270793)

But outside cities this sort of thing is even more perfect. Brings small towns back together and helps people get around more easily. Need a lift across town? Maybe Jimbo is headed in for groceries and can give you a lift. This sort of thing is what the internet is SUPPOSED to be for: Communication and connecting people to make more efficient use of resources. Instead, it's being hobbled by unions and legal bullshit. I mean, come on... one death every 18 MONTHS in ALL of Los Angeles for cab drivers? That's an incredibly safe track record if you ask me, and that was back when crime was much higher in LA!

I say, get the F out of the way Mr Government so we can actually see some more efficiency.

Yes, I live in Los Angeles.

Re:Generation Y (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269383)

I'm a Gen Xer, but at the very tail end, and I don't own a car. I live in a major city (not New York), take the bus to and from work, walk to stores, etc. If I need a car, there's Car2Go, Zipcar, Uber, taxis, etc. Somehow I manage to survive.

Re:Generation Y (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 9 months ago | (#44269463)

Do you have kids? I know Slashdot trends towards no kids (or only one kid), but it's often the arrival of children that becomes the catalyst for my non car-owning friends to bite the bullet and start browsing Craigslist to buy a ride.

Re:Generation Y (1)

Stephen (2982629) | about 9 months ago | (#44269631)

I agree fully, with 2 kids I couldn't imagine not having 2 cars my wife and I are a little on the old side at 31 and 32, but we've had 1 car at least since our teens. I'm a smartphone junky but if forced to choose between phone and car I choose car. I think people who are unfortunate enough to be stuck in big cities without access to places outside of said cities don't realize the freedom a car can bring. I spend 2-3hours in my morning commute every day. but when I get home at night to my big yard with kids playing outside and know that by the time I'm 40 I will be debt free. it is well worth the drive. These same people who did the car survey I ask when they plan to move out from their parents houses?

Re:Generation Y (1)

ignavusinfo (883331) | about 9 months ago | (#44269857)

Eh. I couldn't imagine being unfortunate enough to have to trade 2-3 hours a day [*] sitting in a car for a yard to take care of when there's a well maintained city park across the street -- not to mention all the other amenities the city provides. I'm sincerely glad what you have is working for you but don't believe that city dwellers all feel "stuck."

[*] 2 hours/day x 5 days/week x 45 weeks/year x 10 years is 4500 hours, pretty much a full 1/2 year of dead time in the period you're talking about. Even if my public transportation commute were that long, I'd have been able to read, say, 450 books in that time.

Re:Generation Y (1)

jythie (914043) | about 9 months ago | (#44269757)

Actually, what is 'cool' is pretty damn important since, getting away from people who have a specific need, one of the reasons cars are so common and so heavily used in the US is because of their cultural connections. Cars have massive symbolic value to a great deal of the population, meaning far more people own and use them then actually need them and people actively fight effective alternatives both in terms of projects and associating stigma with them.

If society trends away from that 'cool' factor cars have into 'uncool', then you would probably see a decrease in the already artificially high usage.

Lies (4, Insightful)

Flozzin (626330) | about 9 months ago | (#44269285)

"If they had to pick between a smartphone or a car, they would pick the phone." What sort of choice is that anyway? They aren't comparable. A phone is a few hundred dollars. A car is thousands. Why would you have to choose between them? The second article is also riddle with 'Gen Y would'. Didn't hear from an actual Gen Y person. Just a bunch of old fuddy duddies trying to predict a future market, acting like they are in the know. That always works out. Some old guy telling you what kids think...

Re:Lies (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 9 months ago | (#44269329)

It's not always "old guys" saying this. Often, it also seems to be urban hipsters, living in a few selected enclaves where everything is within easy walking distance and/or with abundant public transport.
Completely ignoring the reality of the other 99% of the country.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269363)

And the logical conclusion of that is when people are in an environment that allows them to function without cars, cars drop down, if not off, the list of things that they consider needing as part of their lives.

Lesson from that is to build cities that (a) enable people to live without needing a car for everything and (b) provide better public transport services.

Except that Big Oil won't like that and similarly none of the politicians in the pockets of Big Oil will be in favor of that.

Re:Lies (2)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 9 months ago | (#44269593)

Anywhere in the city nice enough to live isnt worth the expense. I have a five bedroom house, acre of land and four car garage in central NJ cheaper and my taxes are ~500 month. Renting the rooms out to friends my home expenses zero out. An apartment in NYC when I make 30k/year seems impossible.

Re:Lies (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 9 months ago | (#44270029)

You see, I read that as you have to take care of an acre of land (not having to do so is worth at LEAST $100 a month to me, probably more), you have to live with 4 or 5 friends (unless I'm sleeping with them, I would never have a roommate again for any amount of money), and you have to go through all the pain and expense of home repairs, remodeling, and you have the risk of what happens if your friends move out and you suddenly need to pay higher rent. I'd rather pay 1500 a month for a nice apartment near things to do and within walking distance of work. Hell, I'd probably pay twice that.

Re:Lies (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 9 months ago | (#44270327)

I'd rather pay 1500 a month for a nice apartment near things to do and within walking distance of work. Hell, I'd probably pay twice that.

Not on the $30K the GP earns you wouldn't. And on that salary even $1500/month would leave you very little for even food, utilities, and necessities, let alone allowing you to enjoy any of the "things to do" that you're near.

For many people with lower salaries, that "nice apartment" that's near to everything in a major city actually isn't affordable, even with a job significantly above minimum wage. And even for the single people with $1500/month to spare now, the equation changes a lot if they have a family and especially kids.

Meanwhile, that guy out in NJ will probably own his home outright by the time the guy in the $1500/month apartment "grows up" and realizes that he can no longer afford a place like that with his family and has to move out into the suburbs, having thrown potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars away in rent before doing so.

There are definite benefits for living in the situation you describe when you're young and single and making enough money to afford a "nice apartment" in a big city. Not all people have those conditions or priorities in their lives.

Re:Lies (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 9 months ago | (#44270859)

I'd rather have a single bedroom apartment in the closest city or even suburb. I've owned property- I will never do it again. Not only is it not cheaper, but I don't want the hassle. Plus the idea of owning a 5 bedroom house unless you have 3 or 4 kids is a little disgusting- its far, far more room than I need. Extra annoyance to clean and keep it up for 0 benefit.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't live in downtown anywhere with a kid (nowhere for them to play), but I'd still stay in a city and I'd still rent. Its better if for nothing more than the flexibility and ease of mind- owning property only tied me down and made me miss opportunities in life.

Re:Lies (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 9 months ago | (#44270011)

Except that Big Oil won't like that and similarly none of the politicians in the pockets of Big Oil will be in favor of that.

"Big Oil" is becoming the "Hitler" of the environment debate. Everything bad is caused by "Big Oil". In many cases that is not true.

The major obstacle to denser urban planning which would allow more people to live near amenities and therefore need fewer cars is the people who live there. Go to any rezoning application and there will be people who live near by the site who are against the project. These people are not controlled by big oil; that just want their neighborhood to stay the same. They don't want larger buildings with more people in them. The problem with this mind set is that there are more people on earth every day and they have to live somewhere. Development is like a balloon.; if you don't allow it to build taller it will build outward. That causes the spreading of development and longer commutes.

Re:Lies (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 9 months ago | (#44270275)

The major obstacle to denser urban planning is that most people don't want to live like that. Few people choose to be crammed into a Stalinist tower block if they can have a house with a garden instead.

Re:Lies (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 9 months ago | (#44270557)

If your theory was true then few people would buy condos in the dense areas. If they were so hard to sell there would be few developers applying to build large buildings. Developers build to meet demand. If there was no demand there would be no big buildings. While many would prefer a house with a garden, few can afford it and/or want to commute that far.
Go to a development permit hearing and you will see what stops densification. My ex girlfriend was the executive director of a local developer group. I have been to many development permit hearings and the main detractors have been NIMBYs who do not want change.

Re:Lies (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 9 months ago | (#44270507)

Except that Big Oil won't like that and similarly none of the politicians in the pockets of Big Oil will be in favor of that.

It's telling that we can't just build cities that fulfill what people want. Instead, we expect some bureaucracy to know how everyone should live, so the Agenda 21 folks and the Big Oil lobbyists fight each other for influence over planning decisions. If only there was some principle or system for getting suppliers to provide what people want...

Re:Lies (1)

jythie (914043) | about 9 months ago | (#44269773)

Meh, it is the old urban/suburban/rural divide. Each thinks they make up '99% of the country' and that their values/needs are the dominant one, thus people talking from the perspective of one of the other groups are ignoring the real world.

I'm with them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269355)

I'd choose a pocketknife over a jackhammer.

Re:Lies (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 9 months ago | (#44269365)

Agreed, choosing between a car and a phone is indeed stupid. You need both. Why would I want a phone built into the car when I have one in my pocket?

My 26 year old daughter, in college in Cincinnati, hasn't had a car since the head broke in her old one a few years ago.

Re:Lies (5, Insightful)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about 9 months ago | (#44269377)

As a "Generation Y" person (according to their stats) who lives in the UK , I can tell you that most people of my generation (that I've known/met across Europe), and the one below it (born mid-late 90's), would love to own a car. However many just can't afford it, the costs, the fuel, the taxes, the insurance (espcially this) are just too high.

It isn't that they are not interested, just that they cannot do it. They are not stupid, they see what a money sink it has been turned into for them, and most just cycle, walk, take public transport, or use a car-sharing service if they really need a car (This is for those of us in the inner cities who have this alternative). Others have taken to using motorcycles as they are cheaper to run.

I have a car, but then, my income is above average for my age, and the place I live was built in the 80's, when it was assumed everyone would have a car, so they made off-street parking available. A lot of newly built properties are "car-free", where if you buy/rent there, not only do you not get your own parking, you are forbidden from owning a car parked/registered at that address. The local council will not let you.

Coolness has nothing to do with it. We are being forced away from them. Those old guys are telling us what kids think because it is those old guys who have made owning a car (or a home for that matter) impossible for us.

Next thing I'll hear is how "Generation Y" thinks its uncool to own a home, and we'd rather spend our lives renting due to the "flexibility" it offers us.

(Yes, I know this is somewhat UK/Europe centric, but I'm sure there are similar concerns across the pond as well).

Re:Lies (1)

cjjjer (530715) | about 9 months ago | (#44269423)

Next thing I'll hear is how "Generation Y" thinks its uncool to own a home, and we'd rather spend our lives renting due to the "flexibility" it offers us

Actually I thought you would just keep living at home until your parents died and then you would have a home.

Re:Lies (3, Insightful)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about 9 months ago | (#44269473)

Actually I thought you would just keep living at home until your parents died and then you would have a home.

It makes it somewhat tricky to have relationships, or generally socialise.

If I stayed with my parents, I'd have to share a room with my bro, and that would have made it a lot harder to bring a girl round.

Indeed a lot of us do still live with our parents, but being cooped up in a little room when you're in your thirties with your parents is just a recipie for arguments and family disputes (I know, because I have an older friend in this situation). From things like going out, to bringing people home, to being able to live your life on your terms, it just doesnt work to live at home. I had massive disputes with my parents because they didn't approve of my lifestyle, until I left, and things calmed down.

Especially now, as youth unemployment is really high. Of my friends only 2 of us have full time jobs. The others are either unemployed, or doing temp/part-time jobs for near minimum wage.

That is why we tend to socialise at each others places, going out has become a luxury, and things like your own pad, or a car, are just waaay out there. If you have a job and are lucky enough to have friends with jobs, you can get together and house-share.

Yes, I know very rich people who have like 5 bedroom houses, and yes, then those Gen-X'ers can just stay at home until they build up enough money to move out, or their parents die.

However, I don't know about others, but me waiting till my parents die for a place to live is not appealing (especially as thanks to medical advances, I could easily expect to live to my 50's before my parents are likely to die).

Re:Lies (1)

jythie (914043) | about 9 months ago | (#44269817)

Not as much as you might think.

Keep in mind, this whole 'when children grow up they move out, often far away, get their own home' thing is actually pretty modern and is far from universal. In fact because of various immigration shifts home builders have started carrying standard designs for multi-generational homes since they found there is profit to be made by not providing 'assimilate in all ways' options to people with money.

Re:Lies (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about 9 months ago | (#44269865)

Maybe so, but property here is expensive. I would probably not mind so much living in the same house as my parents if it was big enough for all of us to have "our space".

However to get that in a city (where the work is) in a country in Europe that is not in crises... you'll be looking at 1 million Euros at least, most likely more.

Way out of league of most people I know. The only ones who can do that are families that have lived in one spot for generations, so bought the place when it was cheap as chips. Then they inherited the place down the line, which nowadays is even difficult for them due to taxes on inheritance.

Re:Lies (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 9 months ago | (#44270883)

(especially as thanks to medical advances, I could easily expect to live to my 50's before my parents are likely to die).

I take it your parents didn't reproduce until quite late?

I'm in my mid-50's, and both of my parents are doing fine - I'm expecting to be in my 60's before either of them die....

Re:Lies (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#44269427)

Didn't hear from an actual Gen Y person.

There's not much useful information you can glean from "umm", "huh", "wtf", "dunno" and "whatever".

Re:Lies (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 9 months ago | (#44269639)

Hey daddy-o, dont have a cow just cuz us ankle-biters dont jive talk as well as our hip rents did!

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269445)

Germany city dweller here.

Nobody has a car. There's no point.
Public transport is good enough, even if it's 3 in the morning and you're drunk.
Cars only waste a load of money.
And for everything heavy, we have the "loads taxi" (?) (Lastentaxi), which costs 8.50€/h, and they even help you carry stuff for 4€ per 10 minutes carrying.

What's left? For me, in my whole life... nothing.

The only thing I can think of is that if you travel around a lot in the same country, and have stuff to carry (like a camera team or a band), then a car is cheaper. So it's more of a group / company / bus thing.

Re:Lies (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#44269547)

Germany city dweller here.

Nobody has a car. There's no point.
Public transport is good enough, even if it's 3 in the morning and you're drunk.
Cars only waste a load of money.
And for everything heavy, we have the "loads taxi" (?) (Lastentaxi), which costs 8.50€/h, and they even help you carry stuff for 4€ per 10 minutes carrying.

What's left? For me, in my whole life... nothing.

The only thing I can think of is that if you travel around a lot in the same country, and have stuff to carry (like a camera team or a band), then a car is cheaper. So it's more of a group / company / bus thing.

Public transport is not good enough in many cities in the USA - most USA cities were designed around a car culture and aren't well designed for public transport - housing and neighborhoods are too spread out, and housing is too low density. There are often big suburban office parks that are separate from housing, so instead of a train taking commuters into the city where they work, instead you end up having to link a bunch of low density neighborhoods and offices parks with each other with a big grid of low-density transit links.

There are a few larger cities where transit works, and there are efforts to build more transit friendly housing, but in general, the USA can't have the same level of public transit as countries where transit is already commonplace. And it's a bit of a chicken-or-egg problem - no one uses transit because it sucks, and transit sucks because no one uses it. It would take decades for the USA to approach the level of public transit services that many European countries already have.

Re:Lies (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about 9 months ago | (#44269609)

Not to mention that most of the European public transport sucks as well, but for different reasons (lots of people have to use it, so high density, uncomfortable, expensive and unrealiable).

The UK public transport sucks so badly that I would never go near it if it wasn't for the fact there is no alternative (and I suspect most other people would do the same).

I've heard amazing things about German public transport, but Germany is one of the few European countries I've not had a chance to see in person, so I cannot comment (I've been on the UK, French, Italian and Belgian public transport systems)

Either way, don't assume that magically building public transport would make your commute better, it could well make it worse (nothing like being stuck standing in a hot tin can with the smell of farts, urine and beer for 40 mins because a train broke down in the tunnel).

It would be far better to reduce this silly concept of "commuting", so that only those that have to be on premises to do their job commute, and make it so there are jobs that are withing walking/cycling distance to where you life. A more mixed zoning system, rather than massive tracts of residential zoning in one area linked to commercial/industrial ones would help with that.

Re:Lies (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#44269663)

Not to mention that most of the European public transport sucks as well, but for different reasons (lots of people have to use it, so high density, uncomfortable, expensive and unrealiable).

The UK public transport sucks so badly that I would never go near it if it wasn't for the fact there is no alternative (and I suspect most other people would do the same).

I've heard amazing things about German public transport, but Germany is one of the few European countries I've not had a chance to see in person, so I cannot comment (I've been on the UK, French, Italian and Belgian public transport systems)

Either way, don't assume that magically building public transport would make your commute better, it could well make it worse (nothing like being stuck standing in a hot tin can with the smell of farts, urine and beer for 40 mins because a train broke down in the tunnel).

It would be far better to reduce this silly concept of "commuting", so that only those that have to be on premises to do their job commute, and make it so there are jobs that are withing walking/cycling distance to where you life. A more mixed zoning system, rather than massive tracts of residential zoning in one area linked to commercial/industrial ones would help with that.

I've only ridden European public transit as a tourist, so I can't comment much on that, but I've commuted both on crowded Tokyo and San Francisco transit lines (trains and buses), and haven't really run into problems with the smelly farting passengers (though BART does often have the stench of urine in some parts of the train), but even so, I wouldn't trade that commute for a car commute.

Re:Lies (1)

jythie (914043) | about 9 months ago | (#44269827)

Even in cities where it works, many people consider it a mark of shame to use public transportation and find that their peer group starts looking down on them. Given how admiration by your coworkers/community can play such a large role in career and community advancement, it can have a real impact on one's life.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44270155)

Yes, the main "problem" with US cities, is that they are built for cars. Old cities are built for pedestrians and maybe horses on the big main streets.
But everything new, even here in European cities, is vast and built from a helicopter perspective. Brasilia, the "capital" of Brasil, is the textbook example of how wrong this is. From high up, it looks perfect. Touching the ground with your feet, everything is frighteningly distant. Even crossing the damn street.

Many problems in cities have been attributed to the lack of such an old tight (preferably hub-and-spokes-like) center. If I were mayor of a US city, I would build such centers. With plazas in the middle, a big pretty building, and a lot of cafes and bars around it. Plus at least one important shopping street going off from it. I'd regularly do street festivals and Christmas markets etc. there.

Because to be honest, this is the most beautiful part of every European city I've been to. Apart from the beer gardens next to parks where you drink beer, play frisbee, soccer, and see the bare-chested women lying in the sun. ;))

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269477)

Cars and phones make driving safer when used together. Before cell phones I would have to keep tapping the driver on the sholder to turn around when talking to me. Now I just text or call, driver doen't have to turn around.

Re:Lies (1)

Aramis (18511) | about 9 months ago | (#44269789)

This seems ridiculous on the surface: a smartphone is $200 and a car is at least $12k. But if you look at the monthly cost of a cell phone( + data +plus more GB's + a tablet) vs a car payment, then you are looking at $150/month for a cell phone vs $180/month for a car. When they can't afford both, the younglings I know choose the cell plan.

Re:Lies (1)

Flozzin (626330) | about 9 months ago | (#44270291)

Gas? Insurance? Repairs? You still think a 12k car is only 180 a month? Plus they do two completely different things. Now if you say Gen Y is giving up cars for bikes, mopeds, ect, I can follow that. But here you might as well say, Gen Y is choosing showering over visiting family.

Re:Lies (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 9 months ago | (#44270229)

"If they had to pick between a smartphone or a car, they would pick the phone." What sort of choice is that anyway? They aren't comparable. A phone is a few hundred dollars. A car is thousands. Why would you have to choose between them?

Most smartphone with data plans end up being at least about $100/month. If it's a premium plan, they need coverage for multiple devices (tablet, etc.), it may well be over $150/month.

The car payment on a relatively cheap used car -- such as the kind people in their 20s a generation ago would buy -- might be around $150/month, maybe even less.

These actually are roughly comparable expenses for many young people today. Add in various other technology "needs" for the younger generation (gadgets, high-speed internet at home, etc), and they're often paying as much as they would have for a car each month.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44270321)

A few thousand for a car. Ok. Yep.
Average lifespan of a few thousand dollar car? Oh about 6 years i'd guess. Maybe more. Maybe less.

Now. Over that same 6 years. Add up what the average 20 something pays for their phone(s). Upgrades all the time, accessories, Plus service costs.

I'd bet you'd get really close to the price of that car.

I'd still pick the car myself. I have no use for a phone anyway. I hate them. But i can see where they are comming from.

Ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269305)

Bullshit! You have no idea what you're talking about.

These things will be called taxis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269317)

and subject to licensing when they start to affect public transport services.

Re:These things will be called taxis... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#44269337)

So what would regulators think of such a service that operates only during nights, Sundays, and holidays, when public transit isn't running anyway?

Not worth sacrificing safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269339)

If I am in an urban enough place that this would work, then there is absolutely no way I am risking my life by riding with strangers

Cars are a money pit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269345)

For nearly all of us, buying a car is throwing away money and lots of it. Insurance, registration,maintenance, gas, parking (and maybe interest on your loan.) On top of that it pollutes and doesn't help the fight against climate change. Both of the current comments on the source link cite this as part of the reason why they don't own a car.

So unless there is some necessity, people are analyzing their needs and determining that the payoff for owning a car is not very compelling.

My car is cheaper than your smartphone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269367)

but then thats because i drive old junk... no loan, low maintenance, cheap insurance.

Re:My car is cheaper than your smartphone (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 9 months ago | (#44269507)

but then thats because i drive old junk... no loan, low maintenance, cheap insurance.

In my experience, the cost of maintaining a car doesnt really change over time. Doesnt matter if the car is new or old. Older cars have more frequent problems, but they are often much cheaper to resolve (good luck finding a 2010 Honda at the local salvage yard to pull parts off of.)

You are right about loans and the then necessary comprehensive insurance. The best vehicle buying advice ever is to actually buy a car, not finance one.

Re:My car is cheaper than your smartphone (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 9 months ago | (#44269787)

Junk yards are nicely computerized.

http://row52.com/home [row52.com]

What's your zip. What model and trim of 90 Honda?

The nice thing about old Hondas is they are easy to work on, tuner parts are cheap and common, light weight and you have to flog the piss out of them to get them to go. 7K RPM redlines are fun. They also run clean and get 20 MPG plus, even when you're driving them right.

One of the funnest cars to drive I've ever owned was a Honda 600N. 600cc modified motorcycle motor. If you weren't in the right gear you went backwards. Every green light was a chance to make a Camaro driver look terrible. Also clown car factor, I'm 6'2'' 240.

Re:My car is cheaper than your smartphone (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#44269559)

but then thats because i drive old junk... no loan, low maintenance, cheap insurance.

But your old junk is still contributing to pollution and it's slowing down my bus commute.

Re:My car is cheaper than your smartphone (1)

jythie (914043) | about 9 months ago | (#44269861)

That touches on part of the game theory problem of car ownership. People perceive it as giving them a personal advantage in commuting, but the smaller number of people who use cars the faster everyone goes, so you end up in a situation where the best personal route is for other people to be 'playing for the team'.

Re:My car is cheaper than your smartphone (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 9 months ago | (#44269891)

'The Stig' is your bus driver? That would be cool. Unless he blew-off your stop (and all the others) to keep up speed. It would still be cool, all the other passengers screaming, four wheel drifts in the corners etc.

A distraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269351)

Meanwhile, using a smartphone while driving causes traffic accidents.

Cars Not Cool? (4, Insightful)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 9 months ago | (#44269379)

I don't drive to impress others, I drive because it's necessary. Give even the most pretentious hipster the choice between a one hour drive and a three hour bus journey to work (and back) each day, and we'll soon see how "cool" cars become.

Re:Cars Not Cool? (1)

fermion (181285) | about 9 months ago | (#44269459)

It is really going to be a compromise between the expense of a car and the ease of other transportation. And it is not going mean people are necessarily going to own fewer cars, just that they will not use them to commute.

For instance there has been times when a bus has been easier for than driving. So I take the bus. There are places where parking is simply not available,or very expensive, so people drive cars for part of the commute, then take a bus or train or whatever for the rest. So really this has little to do with ownership of a car, but opportunity costs of using the car versus other means of transportation. Obviously if someone does not have a car, then they must use other means. What public transportation is about in cities like LA is making the opportunity costs of using alternate transportation low enough so people will use it.

There are two ways to do this. First is by spending less on highways and diverting money to encourage public transportation. This was a trend that happening in some cities, and to some degree still is. However, car owners, especially suburban and rural car owners, think they have an entitlement to a fast commute, so money has been diverted away from efficient public transportation to getting a vocal minority into the city quickly.

Second is by asking people to voluntarily be responsible. Stuff like carpooling can help, but large firms have had these set up, with incentives, for years. It really hasn't helped that much. People still buy gas they can't afford and put them into cars they can't afford and complain that the government isn't doing enough to subsidize their life style. I have seen change. I have seen people use sharing services, and it is true that younger people are much more likely to do this. Younger people, if they have a well paying job, are also more likely to live in a situation where they don't need a car, i.e. bars and the like are very close.They can take the bus home, change, walk around, pick up a willing partner, walk home and play.

Re:Cars Not Cool? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#44269595)

It is really going to be a compromise between the expense of a car and the ease of other transportation. And it is not going mean people are necessarily going to own fewer cars, just that they will not use them to commute.

It's also a compromise in choosing where you live. You can have the nice 4 bedroom 2000 sq ft house out in the suburbs with a big yard and a pool with an hour drive to work, or you could live in a higher density condo complex with a small 1400 sq ft 3 bedroom condo, shared pool, small patio or deck and an 30 minute train ride plus 15 minute walk to work.

Many people don't want to give up that big house in the suburbs, but the younger generation is happy to live in a small apartment or condo in the city so everywhere they work or play is a 20 minute walk from home.

Providing good transit to spread out suburban neighborhoods is not feasible, yet many people whine "Public transit just doesn't work for me because I've chosen to live far from work. But please add another lane to the freeway for me because 5 lanes is not enough." If you want to take advantage of public transit, then live near public transit, don't expect the public to spend billions of dollars building a train to your suburban front door.

Re: Cars Not Cool? (1)

alen (225700) | about 9 months ago | (#44269641)

Wait till the kids grow up, pay most of their loans off, get married And get raises. They will buy cars again

I live in NYC and transit costs a lot in subsidies. Fares only cover 25% to 50% of costs

Re: Cars Not Cool? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#44269695)

Wait till the kids grow up, pay most of their loans off, get married And get raises.

I know plenty of $150K+ software engineers living in downtown SF condos with kids. Having a family doesn't have to mean moving to the 'burbs. I live outside of the city, but in a condo with a 5 minute walk to the train, or a 45 minute bike ride to the city.

They will buy cars again

I live in NYC and transit costs a lot in subsidies. Fares only cover 25% to 50% of costs

Cars have subsidies too, but the subsidies are hidden. If people stopped using transit, even if NYC could afford to build new roads to accommodate them, where would they build enough roads and parking to accommodate the cars?

Re: Cars Not Cool? (1)

alen (225700) | about 9 months ago | (#44270099)

I take the train to work to. Lots of people in NYC have cars mostly for weekend travel

Even inside NYC it may take 2 hours or more to go somewhere by train. Try that with kids

Last week I was at the beach till 8:30pm. Drive back. Train ride would have been almost 3 hours and I wouldn't have stayed that long

Re: Cars Not Cool? (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 9 months ago | (#44269807)

If you lived in the city during the 2005 Transit Strike [wikipedia.org] you would know the amount of subsidy is irrelevant - without transit for three days the "local" (local being a population larger than the countries of Switzerland or Denmark) economy was massively disrupted.

Re: Cars Not Cool? (1)

afgam28 (48611) | about 9 months ago | (#44269933)

I live in NYC and transit costs a lot in subsidies. Fares only cover 25% to 50% of costs

I really don't understand why so many people insist that public transit systems should be a fully profitable business, independent of the government. Do you think that the roads are somehow not subsidized?

Re: Cars Not Cool? (1)

alen (225700) | about 9 months ago | (#44270125)

All the anti car people complain how their taxes pay to subsidize roads. Same with transit here. It's partly subsidized by a property transfer tax.

My lirr monthly pass only covers 25% of the expenses

Re:Cars Not Cool? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 9 months ago | (#44269811)

It's also a compromise in choosing where you live. You can have the nice 4 bedroom 2000 sq ft house out in the suburbs with a big yard and a pool with an hour drive to work, or you could live in a higher density condo complex with a small 1400 sq ft 3 bedroom condo, shared pool, small patio or deck and an 30 minute train ride plus 15 minute walk to work.

You are seriously tilting the scale towards public transportation with your exaggeration.

In the Washington, DC, area, that condo in "close" would have to be a lot smaller to be the same price as the house in the "suburbs". In addition, the 30 minute train ride would mean you are still damn far out (and technically in the suburbs), but close enough to be in the "a lot more expensive" area. Meanwhile, out near the house, you can catch a train and get downtown in an hour. All this is assuming that a train is available when you want to commute. For Metro, that's not a huge problem, but if you have to take MARC, then you are very limited in your choices.

All this is OK for a single person, but if you are a couple, you aren't going to find a house close to both your jobs, especially since you are likely to change jobs long before you change houses. I'm 25 miles door-to-door from my work, and it takes me 30 minutes, while my wife is about 6 miles from her work, with a 15-minute commute, both by car. Public transportation wouldn't help as it would more than double the length of our commutes while limiting the times we could travel, and that's pretty much the case with everyone else in the area, even if their commute goes different places.

Seriously.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269381)

A car sharing company promoting the meme that car ownership is not popular with their target market to promote it. How surprising

page not found (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269543)

i clicked the first link but i got error:

Page Not Found

We’re sorry, we seem to have lost this page, but we don’t want to lose you.

The link to the second page works though

Not yet time for triumphalism... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 9 months ago | (#44269551)

1) As I recall skimming in an article, in one city (SFO?) the taxi-drivers unions and lobbyists are fighting this tech tooth and nail. Given our predilection today for legalistically protecting the rights of the 'buggy whip makers' (as long as they donate consistently to the right legal campaigns) I'm not sure that there isn't going to be some Byzantine bizarre legal moratorium placed on such apps.

2) humans are still not "safe". I can quite easily conceive of a system like this being spoofed in order for a predator to defer the arranged pickup, and show up instead to offer a ride to that lovely 19 year old coed that 'just needs a lift down to school this morning' - her brutally-raped and murdered body washing up in some meltwater creek months later. There's a reason we still tell our children to watch out for strangers, and if adults think they're somehow inherently safer at maturity, they're sadly mistaken.

Re:Not yet time for triumphalism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269813)

And there it is. The irrational "think of the children" trump card.

Darwin (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 9 months ago | (#44269635)

People driving while texting/updating their FB/watching movies etc crash and are injured or killed and therefore not driving anymore, therefore less drivers and less traffic.
Takes a while though, and not reccomended to be on the road in the meantime'

And spy on you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269771)

Courtesy of NSA code generously donated to the the manufacturer.

OT, but smart phones already helping (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 9 months ago | (#44269779)

Google Maps and the like presumably use feedback from smart phones (among other data sources) to build their real-time congestion maps.

I use my smart phone's map app to decide what route to take and whether to delay my trip.

So, even today, smart phones are helping reduce congestion even if they aren't actually reducing traffic.

On teens' licenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269849)

Point of interest: pretty sure the decline in teenagers with driver's licenses is more due to graduated licensing laws making it legally impossible to drive one's friends places. In Connecticut, you have to wait 6 months before you can drive with blood relatives who aren't over 20 and have had a license for at least four years, and another 6 months before you're okay to drive anyone at all. So if you get your license at the end of your junior year of high school, then unless you turn 18 (which of course voids all of this) during your senior year, you can never legally drive someone. And if you get pulled over with someone in the car whom you're not supposed to be driving... well, say good-bye to your license. Not that people don't break the law -- it's just not worth the risk if you don't have a good reason to get a license.
I've heard that other states have similar laws, where a driver's license is essentially useless for some time after getting one. This, more than the uncoolness of car ownership, is probably what's causing teenagers to not get their licenses. So yeah, we're gonna pick the smartphone -- because an iPhone doesn't lock down its data connection for six months after you pay a few hundred bucks for it.

Impersonating a Typical So. Californian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269899)

"Give up MY right to drive alone?! You'll be hearing from my lawyer!"

Is hitchhiking with a smartphone safer? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 months ago | (#44270095)

This is, if I'm reading it right, just hitchhiking. Safe 99% of the time, which means you'll probably only get raped/mugged/beaten and left for dead once every 100 trips or so - maybe twice a year. Less if you actually die.

Offtopic (1)

he-sk (103163) | about 9 months ago | (#44270323)

A car sharing social network would make a great plot device for CSI:NY. And by great I mean stupid.

One data point, not consistent with post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44270515)

I would guess that cars are less popular because they are expensive and terrible investment. A result of young people don't have a lot of money and can do math.

I live in a suburb about 35 miles outside of Los Angeles. I put an ad in local web site offering a free chest of drawers. The people who came to get it came all the way from downtown LA, they were living together and she had some tattoos. They seemed like a nice young (early 20s) couple and the gal was a little fastidious. I asked she why they drove so far and she said they had been looking for a long time. The chest of drawers was not in particularly nice shape but she did not care all she wanted to know what that the drawers worked.

The couple drove up in a brand new small hactchback. They checked all the gen y buttons and yet they had a brand new car.

Actually I, at 52, would love to live car-less. To be able to walk to everything, have the lifestyle where I could walk to everything.

As near as I can tell for any trend, in most cases, follow the money......

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...