[digital herecy] Uber and the Ongoing Erasure of Public Life




“Cities struggling to keep subways and buses running are being drained of revenue by tech companies and a reserve army of cars. These cars, in turn, coagulate the arteries of the city, blocking the remaining fleet of buses, causing a downward spiral of decreasing ridership and growing traffic.

Despite all of this, Uber claims to support mass transit. “Everyone agrees on the solution,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mail. “We need tools that help ensure sustainable travel modes like public transportation are prioritized over single occupant vehicles.” The company has regularly portrayed itself as offering “first-mile, last-mile” solutions for transit: carrying you to and from the train station or bus stop. In fact, the evidence of its success in this arena is inconclusive. In some suburbs or city peripheries, where these solutions are most necessary, Uber has become a subsidized alternative to the transit to which it supposedly offers a connection, partnering with municipal and transit agencies to replace their existing bus services.”

Uber and the Ongoing Erasure of Public Life
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/dept-of-design/uber-and-the-ongoing-erasure-of-public-life
via Instapaper