By Jeff Ericson, Special for USDR
Imagine for a moment what your life would look like if suddenly you didn’t have a car and have to rely on public transportation. While in some cities this works great, in cities where public transportation is not a one-size-fits all “Boston-Lite” approach, it doesn’t.
We put up with traffic, congestion, smog, plus all of the hassles that go along with owning a vehicle. In reality, the car is as much a necessary part of our neighborhoods as the sidewalks and streets that support them. For people who seek to get away from long commutes and trips in a car, most inefficient transportation systems make a good case for living elsewhere.
The median car trip for most is two-to-three miles. According to the AAA, the average annual cost to own and operate a car is $9,100 per year ($760 per month), with the bulk of mileage coming from commutes to work. If you ditch the car and opt for alternative transportation, this is approximately how much you’d spend:
*31-day Valley Metro pass— $64.
Vanpooling — $88.
Bicycling — $0.
Carpool with three other people — $500
Until now, consumers had to rely on options, such as: taxis, limos and other transportation services. There’s no doubt that a car-sharing service is a booming business. It’s equally sure, however, that consumers are looking for a service. One subscription-based ride share company prides itself in being a different model. Instead of hiring employees to fulfill a need, the company professionally trains, screens, and background checks each driver with a company car. In addition, RubyRide also partnered with top, board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Karl Frindrich, MD, to launch PostOp Concierge.
PostOp Concierge supports all patient transportation and service needs for pre-operation as well as post-operation. They are CPR, ADA, and First Aid trained. The service is a subscription-based model where consumers can pay monthly fees at a reasonable affordable rate. The company has plans on expansion in the near future.
It’s time to think outside the bike lane for creative ways to make cities less car dependent and more commuter-friendly. We need to look to the private and business sectors for solutions.
*Figure is based on the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area.
Jeff Ericson is the CEO and Founder of RubyRide, a membership-based transportation provider that specializes in scheduled, local, regular trips on a recurring revenue model. An architect by trade, he has worked and spoken about urban design, multi-family housing and city planning issues for the last 15 years. As a principal at a top real estate development company, Ericson played a central role in high-profile loft and condominium projects in Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona, designed and shepherded Class A and B apartment projects in Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Goodyear, Arizona, amounting to more than 3,000 units; and developed a high-density, 205-unit urban apartment project in Central Phoenix that was funded and then defunded three times as the local economy collapsed. Ericson’s specialties are with large, complex projects and he has experience in financial modelling, municipal & planning department negotiations, land planning, entitlements, and overall project management. He also understands the complexities of multi-family housing, mixed-use, lifestyle-oriented design, and execution.