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Letter: Region should embrace new transportation ideas

Region should embrace new transportation ideas

I am writing in regard to the Jan. 17 News article, “Cheap, easy rides versus safety drive Uber debate.”

With Uber cars and drivers, the nation is seeing early revolutionary steps toward automobile-quality urban public transportation. It offers on-demand, personal, no-transfer, direct-to-real-destination service to all, instead of expensive taxis and slow, inconvenient mass transit.

Remember the user advantage that evolved when airlines and “Ma Bell” were opened to competition? And safety and reliability have improved.

Common objectives and sensible regulations will blend taxis into the new competitive concepts with others. Hopefully common, highly efficient vehicles will emerge, including use of automation for road or high-congestion area guideway travel.

Even larger benefits come from replacement of highly subsidized and increasingly expensive mass transit. New public transportation, especially for non-drivers, can improve doorstep-to-doorstep speed and productivity. As subsidies are phased out, they can help to keep fares low for Uber-type start-ups.

Recently, a presidential candidate said, “public policy has to catch up with technology.” Here is a useful, feasible chance for Buffalo.

Walt Brewer