The past few years have brought big changes to car use and ownership. E-hail services like Lyft and Uber and car share programs like Zipcar have transformed the concept of mobility. Millennials have stopped buying cars, public transportation use is on the rise, e-hail services and car shares are growing exponentially.
It may be easy to flag down a ride on a smartphone or to share a car for only a few hours a week, but are these programs enough to make people rethink car ownership? Are cars a utility, or a pleasure?
For those who enjoy cruising along the freeway with the top down, or strapping a surfboard to the roof and chasing the best waves down PCH, Lyft and Zipcar may never content with car ownership. But for eco-conscious city dwellers with e-resources and viable public transportation or bike services, a car might be less and less important.
Who needs and loves their cars the most? Are e-hail services and car share programs enough to make you reconsider your ride?
Mimi Sheller, Director, Center for Mobilities Research and Policy; Professor of Sociology at Drexel University
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