From Joe Sulmona:
I predicted the harm that these peer to peer commercial ridesharing services will do to public transit…
Why do we need a Broadway subway when it might very well be cheaper just to subsidize the services instead… Oh, we might need to widen the streets for all the extra cars.
Nov. 27–OAKLAND — BART’s Oakland Airport Connector — the sleek trams that whisk riders from the Coliseum station — seems to be falling victim to the ride-booking phenomenon that has also bedeviled taxis, shuttles and other airport transit services.
The $6 one-way fare may not be helping fill seats, either.
Rather than making a projected $2 million profit in its first two years, the service has cost the agency $860,000. And ridership dropped 4.5 percent during the three-month period ending Sept. 30 from the same period a year earlier, as ride-booking services tripled their numbers over the same span.
Social justice advocates blasted the service when it was first proposed as a “shovel ready” candidate for federal stimulus funds, calling the automated people mover a “boondoggle” that does little to benefit the mostly low-income East Oakland communities the trams pass over. And several groups challenged BART’s assumptions that it could use the connector’s high fares to cover its operating costs.
Data recently obtained by this newspaper show those concerns have come to fruition, though not for reasons anyone suspected at the time. The introduction of ride-booking services, such as Uber, Lyft and Wingz, at Oakland International Airport last year have consumed nearly all of the new business from the airport’s growing passenger traffic.
The precipitous rise of ride-booking took everyone by surprise, including the staff at Oakland International Airport, said Stephen Gordon, the airport’s business manager.
“Anybody who said they saw this coming is full of baloney,” he said. “Every month, we continue to be astonished by the growth in the use of (ride-booking).”