Ridesharing has potential to solve traffic congestion woes: Page 2 of 2
By Anushia Kandasivam December 1, 2017
Investment and alternative income
Resolving the problem of traffic congestion will ultimately lead to better investment into infrastructure, says Tseng.
“With fewer cars on the road, there will be less pressure on the government to invest money into building more roads to alleviate congestion and create better traffic flow. In the longer term, this funding can be channelled to benefit Malaysians in many other impactful ways," he says.
This is echoed by Uber’s head of Public Policy and Government Affairs in Indonesia John Colombo, who says that Jakarta’s ambitious plan to build infrastructure and mass transportation systems is needed but will take a long time and a lot of financing.
“The results of this study indicate that ridesharing can help the government to invest in infrastructure more optimally by providing access mobility for residents,” says Colombo.
Of course, governments have already been investing in building and improving public transportation systems in various cities. Singapore’s public transportation system is one of the most sophisticated and most-used by its citizens in the region. In Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian government has recently extended light rail transport routes and built new mass rapid transit lines.
However, according to the study, it is expected that the peak capacity of the public transportation system in Kuala Lumpur will be unable to meet demand by 2022. Ridesharing is already being used as a first- and last-mile feeder by citizens; the study states that ridesharing will continue to serve in this way and will also be needed to reduce congestion caused by extensive private car usage.
According to Tseng, with Uber offering safe, reliable, comfortable and convenient transportation, it is understandable that ridesharing has changed how people in Kuala Lumpur view transportation.
Both Tseng and Colombo also mention that ridesharing provides a means of alternative income. The study does state that in Jakarta at least, 27% of car owners said they are very keen to supplement their income through a ride-sharing app.
Should ridesharing be adopted to its fullest, there is certainly potential for it to reduce traffic congestion and make daily city commutes much easier and more efficient. However, for this to become a reality, it is clear that various factors must come together.
As Rick says, a combination of improved service offerings from ridesharing platforms and support from regulators will be required to achieve the adoption needed for sustained material benefits to be realised.
Whether this harmony will occur remains in the ability for all parties involved, including consumers, to understand the benefits of ridesharing and its long-term effects on their societies.