How NYC Could Revolutionize Urban Transport By Turning Its Taxi System Into A Sharing Economy

How NYC Could Revolutionize Urban Transport By Turning Its Taxi System Into A Sharing Economy

Stats show that 80% of all cab journeys in 2011 could have been shared.

Ross Brooks
  • 13 march 2014

Thanks to services such as Lyft, ride-sharing is now a much more accepted idea, except when it comes to the taxi business. Michael Szell at MIT’s Senseable City Lab, recently found out that 80% of all cab journeys in the city could have been shared. With more than150 million taxi trips taken in 2011, it’s clear that if people embrace the sharing economy, they could have an enormous environmental, and social impact on New York City.

The revelation comes as part of a project called HubCab, which could be the first step towards a fully-integrate taxi network that knows when two or more people are about to take the same route. People would only have to be willing to go three minutes out of their way each time to reduce the total number of trips taken each year.


Atlantic Cities did the math, and figured out that each trip carries one person (which isn’t specified in the data), and that two trips can reasonably be combined in the back seat of one cab, it would mean an NYC taxi network that produces 40 percent fewer trips. Just imagine the effect it would have on emissions, and not to mention traffic throughout the city.

Even though the percentage is likely to be much lower in real life, any amount of reduction in double-digits would be a significant leap forward. HubCab’s website also provides projections on how much money and CO2 emissions would be saved based on the pickup and drop-off points you select.


There are still plenty of issues that need to be addressed before a system of this scale can be implemented, but the point of the project is to show how much potential a sharing economy has when applied to taxis.

To see the 150 million trips that took place in 2011 plotted on a stunning interactive map, be sure to head over to the HubCab project’s website.

Source: TheAtlanticCities
Images: Senseable City Lab, Steve Wilson via Flickr


Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Syndicated Yesterday

Museum Exhibit Celebrates Strange Architectural Contraptions

Artist William Heath Robinson's peculiar genius is on display in this recent show with wiggling ducts, jumbles of planks and coils of cable

Technology Yesterday

This Sensor Will Help You Brew The Perfect Cup Of Tea Every Time

42Tea is a small device that guides you through every step of the brewing process, even identifying the type of leaves being used


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Design & Architecture Yesterday

Norwegian Mountaineering Center Mimics A Snow-Capped Mountain

The structure's exterior is clad in a uniform surface of pixels to create a unique climbing experience

Related Expert

Megan M. Garwood

Conceptual Art, Cycling, Travel

Sustainability Yesterday

Giant Coffee Cups Encourage People To Recycle Their Morning Cup Of Joe

The Hubbub Foundation has created a set of themed bins meant to inspire recycling on a large scale

Home Yesterday

Small Device Creates A Personal Weather Station Inside In Your Home

Netatmo's new sensor is a standalone air quality monitor that can measure humidity, purity, noise and temperature

Travel Yesterday

Advertising Proposal Aims To Be The Most “Instagrammable Billboard In The World”

The Belltower in Los Angeles would allow video advertising and live event streaming, and include a pedestrian plaza for visitors


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 17, 2016

Home Depot Green Energy Expert: Americans Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Green tech expert Jennifer Tuohy discusses new home energy tech and developments for renewables in the US

PSFK Labs october 12, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Easy-To-Build Shelter Offers A Quick Way To Put A Roof Above Your Head

The structure designed by studio Duffy London has applications in disaster relief or first-aid

Beauty Yesterday

L’Oréal Wants To Help Visually Impaired Women Apply Makeup

The cosmetics brand has developed a series of audio tutorials for Brazilian consumers with reduced sight

Travel Yesterday

Drone-Powered Hotel Concept Could Radically Redefine Vacations

These unique pods would allow guests to visit a variety of locales over a period of several days

Automotive Yesterday

Pitch Your Startup Idea To Fellow Uber Passengers

A new promotion on the ridesharing service's POOL feature lets select riders compete for a $5,000 investment from prominent venture capitalists

Work Yesterday

Busy Office Managers Can Rely Upon A Digital Concierge To Help Offload Tasks

MEET is a service that automates the process of everyday tasks such as pantry and printer reordering, so employees can focus on more important work

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Design Series Turns Emojis Into A Coffee Table Book

The Emoji Book will be comprised of different artist interpretations of the ubiquitous symbols

Health Yesterday

These Pajamas Are Promising A Better Night’s Sleep

Recliner's new collection is made for those looking for a better way to get quality shut-eye

Food Yesterday

Cook An Entire Pizza On Your Stovetop

This compact kitchen appliance lets people bake a homemade pie without the need for an oven

No search results found.