Cambridge University: Below a $35 Fare, Taxis Beat Uber
Only after riders spend $35 on cab fare is it less expensive to take an Uber in New York City, according to researchers at Cambridge University, UK.
Only after riders spend $35 on cab fare is it less expensive to take an Uber, according to researchers at Cambridge University, UK.
Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, scientists were able to compare the cost of all New York City Yellow Taxi journeys during the whole of 2013 against Uber pricing using the cheapest version of the service, called Uber X.
The data set obtained by researchers is impressive in scale, detailing every pick up and drop off as well as the fare paid for hundreds of millions of journeys through the city.
"Uber appears more expensive for prices below $35 and begins to become cheaper only after that threshold," says Cecilia Mascolo, professor of Mobile Systems at Jesus College.
In a place as dense as New York City, shorter trips are the norm, suggesting that Uber exploits this trend in human mobility to maximize revenue, says Mascolo.
If that leaves you feeling a little exploited, you're not alone. When internet entrepreneur and author Andrew Keen spoke with Big Think, he warned that Uber's allegiance to free market principles actually risks creating a monopoly that makes the consumer worse off:
"Uber represents a much more dangerous monopoly. The reason why Uber is valued at $40 billion, the reason why billions of dollars of Silicon Valley and Wall Street money have poured into Uber is because it’s a play actually controlling the entire global cab transportation industry. Uber is not for the people; it’s not for the consumer."
Researchers at Cambridge are optimistic about the potential of harnessing large pools of data like annual taxicab fares. Programmers could build an application, for example, that compares car journey prices in urban locations the way websites compare airline fares:
"[W]e take our analysis a step further by proposing a new mobile application that compares taxi prices in the city to facilitate traveler's taxi choices, hoping to ultimately to lead to a reduction of commuter costs."
Read more at Technology Review.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.