Special Offer: Try The Information for $10. Redeem Now
Art by Matt Vascellaro
Friday Opinion
Uber/Lyft

Why Uber Should Pay Congestion Charges

By  |  Aug. 18, 2017 7:00 AM PDT
Photo: Art by Matt Vascellaro

We live in a world marching straight toward gridlock. In 2007, the share of people living in cities crossed 50% for the first time. By 2050, more than 66% of humanity will live in urban areas. At the same time, the number of cars sold keeps rising. In just the last decade, there has been a 40% jump, to more than 93 million vehicles sold worldwide in 2016.

Congestion is our tragedy of the commons. We get a very expensive resource, road usage, nearly for free, and as a result binge on it. Typically, cities and governments try to deal with congestion by building more roads, even though it was shown more than 20 years ago that adding space for cars typically ends up causing more traffic. The toll congestion exacts, from lost productivity to accidents to air pollution that contributes greatly to climate change, is huge. By 2030, the cost of congestion is expected to reach $186 billion per year in the U.S. alone.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing
Will Apple Kill the Free Podcast?: The Information’s Tech Briefing
Will Apple Kill the Free Podcast?: The Information’s Tech Briefing
The podcasting industry as we know it is about to change. Plans by Apple to launch a subscription service for podcasts, as The Information reported today, portends a shift to a much more balkanized podcasting world. Instead of shows being broadly available for free on a variety of outlets, in the future podcasts will be attached exclusively for a price to specific outlets. It’s not only...
Latest Briefs
 
SoftBank Vision Fund’s Jeffrey Housenbold to Depart
Facebook Blocks New Events in D.C. Ahead of Inauguration
Andreessen: Content Blocking Could Come From Browser, Email and Internet Providers
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
How Blocking Trump Puts the Future of the Internet at Risk
Modest Proposals Policy Facebook
How Blocking Trump Puts the Future of the Internet at Risk
The move by social networks to deplatform President Trump last week was the right call. In reality, he left Facebook and Twitter no other choice.
The Information’s Return to the Office Tracker
Startups COVID-19
The Information’s Return to the Office Tracker
Of the companies most opposed to continuing remote work after the pandemic fades, Netflix stands out for the intensity of its stance.
Sequoia Buys Shares in Elusive Startup Zapier at Multibillion-Dollar Valuation
Exclusive
Sequoia Buys Shares in Elusive Startup Zapier at Multibillion-Dollar Valuation
Zapier isn’t a household name outside Silicon Valley, but the world’s top venture capitalists have long been trying to own a piece of the booming enterprise software firm.
Let’s Not Celebrate the Platforms for Kicking Trump Off
Opinion Facebook
Let’s Not Celebrate the Platforms for Kicking Trump Off
Calling for violence on social media is OK and spreading disinformation is fine, especially if you’re the president of the United States.
Snap Names New Content Leader in Push to Counter TikTok
Exclusive Media/Telecom Google
Snap Names New Content Leader in Push to Counter TikTok
Snap has promoted executive Ben Schwerin to be its new senior vice president of content and partnerships, a move that signals the company’s ambitions to compete more aggressively with TikTok and to cut more deals with media companies and app developers.
Can Mayor Francis Suarez Bring Silicon Valley to Miami?
Can Mayor Francis Suarez Bring Silicon Valley to Miami?
Rumors about who might be moving to Miami to escape the supposed decline of the San Francisco Bay Area are spreading faster than the VC funding buzz around hot tech startups.