A Bird Scooter in Santa Monica, CA. (Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Times)
Dockless Bikeshare (Bikeshare-news.com)
In the last decade, shared use mobility has created new travel modes like carsharing, bikesharing, services like Uber and Lyft (sometimes called Transportation Network Companies), and private shuttles (like Bay-Area tech shuttles). Transit agencies often struggle with these new transportation options, unsure of how to coexist with them and afraid of competition. Ridesourcing/Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) use smartphone apps to connect community drivers with passengers. Examples of these services include: Lyft, Uber (specifically, uberX, uberXL, and UberPool), as well as specialized services, such as Lift Hero (older adults and those with disabilities) and HopSkipDrive (rides for children either to/from school or afterschool). These services can provide many different vehicle types including: sedans, sports utility vehicles, vehicles with car seats, wheelchair accessible vehicles, and vehicles where the driver can assist older or disabled passengers. While taxis are often regulated to charge static fares, TNCs typically uses market-rate pricing, popularly known as “surge pricing” when prices usually go up during periods of high demand to incentivize more drivers to take ride requests.