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U.S. Cities Ranked on Availability of Carsharing, Tech-Enabled Transit

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/5/2015 Karla Sanchez
U.S. Cities Ranked on Availability of Carsharing, Tech-Enabled Transit

Many think they wouldn't be able to live without their car, but several new technology-enabled transportation services have popped up to make life easier for those who don't own one, or simply don't wish to drive. But which cities offer the widest variety of these types of services?

The answer lies in a new report conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) focusing on 11 transportation technologies in 70 U.S. cities. The tools highlighted in this report include ridesourcing, car sharing, ridesharing, taxi hailing, static and real-time transit information, multi-modal apps, and virtual transit ticketing. These technologies - most of which have been around for less than a decade - have made it possible for people to not be so dependent on their cars, and although these tools have been expanding at an increasing rate, public agencies have been slow to integrate them into their planning. For example, the report found that of those 70 cities, only 19 of them (with a combined population of nearly 28 million people) have access to eight or more of these services.

gm-onstar-smartphone-applications© Provided by MotorTrend gm-onstar-smartphone-applications

Carsharing services like Zipcar seem to be the most widely available, with these services accessible in 69 of 70 cities surveyed. Static transit data, including simple schedules and route maps that are available to the public on internet-connected devices, comes in second since it's around in 66 cities. Ride-sourcing services like Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar are the third most widely available, as the report found people can reach these services in 59 of the 70 cities outlined. Real-time transit data, as opposed to static data, can be used in 56 cities.Services that aren't as widely available include virtual ticketing (6 cities), and ridesharing, which can only be utilized in five cities in the U.S.

2012-ford-focus-zipcar-right-side-view© Provided by MotorTrend 2012-ford-focus-zipcar-right-side-view

Taking this into consideration, the U.S. PIRG ranked U.S. cities by how many tech-related transportation choices there are. Austin, Texas took the crown with 11 services available and 18 service providers. San Francisco, Calif. came in right behind it, with 10 services available and 23 service providers. Washington, D.C. came in the third spot, also with 10 services, but only with 20 service providers compared to San Francisco. Other top cities include Boston, Mass.; Los Angeles, Calif.; New York City, N.Y.; and Portland, Ore.

new-esurance-tech-blocks-teens-smartphone-activity-while-driving© Provided by MotorTrend new-esurance-tech-blocks-teens-smartphone-activity-while-driving

It makes sense that population-dense cities appear at the top of the list, while those with fewer people appear at the bottom of the list. Cities that only have four or fewer services include Little Rock, Ark.; Birmingham, Ala.; Riverside, Calif.; while those with only one service include Billings, Mont.; Charleston W. Va.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Fargo, N.D.

Where does your city rank? Check out the full report here.

Source: U.S. PIRG

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