The era of the private automobile had its ups and downs. Who can dispute that the car vastly expanded our lifestyle options? On the other hand, traffic and pollution are not in anyone’s dream of paradise.
So where are we headed? Most do not think that the era of private car ownership will soon be over. Many do think, however, that its dominance over other forms of local transport is ebbing. Consider this
Just 26% of 16-year olds in the United States earned a driver’s license in 2017. Less than four decades ago, close to half of 16-year olds would have become licensed drivers. In the United Kingdom, the number of 17-year olds seeking driver’s licenses fell by 28% in the last ten years.
So where are we headed? We are going to see lots more micro.mobility options.
For example, micro mobility already provides solutions for some of the principal unbundled uses. Electric scooters are ideal for trips up 10km. Electric bikes are perfect for trips between 10km and 24km. Cars find their sweet spot above 24k, although ideally in a metro area autonomous vehicles (“robo taxis”) would be deployed for this use. Other services such as cargo hauling could be fulfilled with paid access to a shared truck (electric, and autonomous of course).
I honestly don’t think there is a better way to get around NYC for short distances on a lovely spring day. It is one of the things that makes living in NYC so enjoyable.
The above is from VC Fred Wilson. He is raving about a 7 minute ride that took him one city mile where he burned 41 calories.
I would put in a word here as well about walking. Health experts have been shouting out for a while that walking is nearly as healthy in terms of aerobic exercise as running — and it puts far less stress on the legs. I have been on walking regime for several months now, and have lost more than 25 pounds. No gym memberships. No fancy clothing or equipment needed. Just a pair of sneakers. In addition to the weight loss, I am feeling a lot more fit than I was.