Date
22 October 2018
Americans in at least four major US cities can save a lot of money if they take Uber instead of using their own cars, a study finds. Photo: Reuters
Americans in at least four major US cities can save a lot of money if they take Uber instead of using their own cars, a study finds. Photo: Reuters

Taking Uber cheaper than owning car in four big US cities: study

It is more economical to use ride-hailing service Uber than to own a car in at least four major US cities, namely New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, a report delivered at a technology conference said.

New York has the highest average weekly cost of car ownership, at US$218, among the five largest cities in the United States.

However, if one switches from driving a personal car to using Uber in the city, the cost plunges by as much as 35 percent to US$142, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker said in her Internet Trends Report.

The report was delivered last Wednesday at the Code Conference, an annual event organized by technology news website Rcode.

The story is a bit different in Dallas, however. The average weekly cost of owning a car is only US$65, largely because of the city’s well-developed land transport network, while commuting by means of Uber would cost US$181, TechCrunch quoted Meeker as saying.

The cost of owning a car, aside from the price of the vehicle, covers gas, motor insurance, maintenance, and parking.

Car owners can also save a lot of money if they join a car pool, although the commute time will be longer, according to the report.

Survey on self-driving cars

Uber has been at the forefront of efforts to develop self-driving cars. However, such efforts have been hindered by multiple road accidents involving autonomous vehicles.

According to a recent Axios/SurveyMonkey poll, 68 percent of Americans expressed fears of road accidents involving pedestrians if autonomous cars hit the streets.

In the same survey, 64 percent of the respondents said they are fearful as a passenger in a self-driving car, while only 10 percent said they would feel extremely or very safe either as passenger or pedestrian, online media outlet Axios reported.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 5

Translation by Jonathan Chong with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal

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