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

From SCOTUS To The Confederate Flag, Cable Comedians Keep Tabs On The News

Critic David Bianculli says the commentary, questioning and ridicule of Jon Stewart, Larry Wilmore, John Oliver and Bill Maher help keep news outlets — and newsmakers — honest.
NPR

Survey Forecasts A Banner Year For Atlantic Sea Scallops

Federal fisheries researchers says their survey found about 10 billion scallops in waters off Delaware and southern New Jersey. They're predicting a boom for the nation's most valuable fishery.
NPR

Recreational Marijuana Is Now Legal In Oregon

While the state permits people to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana, they still can't buy or sell recreational pot.
NPR

Somebody Is Cutting Internet Cables In California

There have been at least 11 attacks in the San Francisco Bay Area in the past year, according to the FBI. The most recent occurred Tuesday and disrupted service as far north as Seattle.

Leave a Comment

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