Does New York City Need More Taxis? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Does New York City Need More Taxis?

Play associated audio

The City of New York is planning to add 2,000 more yellow taxi cabs onto its streets. They'll be wheelchair accessible and raise a bunch of money for the city. The new licenses could fetch up to $1 billion at auction. And the hope is that the extra taxis will make life better for the many New Yorkers without cars.

Charles Komanoff disagrees. The transport economist has been analyzing the city's traffic patterns for almost 40 years. He argues that putting more cabs on the streets will actually slow down traffic — so much so that it would cost travelers not just time but also money.

True, it would be easier to find a cab. But Komanoff argues that all those extra cabs would slow down traffic by 12 percent in the city. And they wouldn't just slow down traffic for their passengers. They would slow it down delivery trucks, buses, private cars — everyone.

Komanoff has been collecting data about New York City's traffic patterns in a massive spreadsheet. In the data you can find every lane on every road in the heart of Manhattan. He calls his data trove the Balanced Transport Analyzer.

He figures the slowdown due to the new cabs would cost the city $500 million a year in lost time.

We'll have to wait to see if Komanoff's predictions will come true. The decision to add more cabs in New York is now being challenged in court.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

New Technology Immerses Audiences At Sundance Film Festival

From flying like a bird to walking through a refugee camp in Syria, virtual reality has enabled journalists, filmmakers and artists to immerse their audience in their stories like never before.
NPR

Sandwich Monday: Girl Scout Cookie Coffeemate

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try Girl Scout Cookies in a new form. Coffeemate has somehow blended them into nondairy creamer, so you can start your day the disturbing way.
WAMU 88.5

Court Approves McDonnell's Request To Remain Free During Appeal

A federal appeals court is approving former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's request to remain free while he appeals his corruption convictions.
NPR

Just Plane Sad: A Show Of Support For SkyMall

News last week that SkyMall's parent company has filed for bankruptcy protection inspired an outpouring of odes to the kitschy in-flight catalog.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.