People in Los Angeles Are Getting Rid Of Their Cars

Eric Spiegelman grew up in a six-car family in the San Fernando Valley and has lived in Los Angeles for the majority of his life. At the end of May, he let the lease on his Volkswagen CC expire, opting to live car-free in a city synonymous with car culture. For the past three months, he’s been commuting to and from work exclusively via Uber and Lyft — mostly using Pool and Line, cheaper options that allow passengers to share trips with other riders on similar routes.

“It ran so contrary to the culture that I’d been brought up in, and also my sense of what was doable,” Spiegelman, 39, told BuzzFeed News. “It was the most unnatural feeling thing at first. But it was so freeing.”

An understandable sentiment — after all, Spiegelman is president of the LA Taxicab Commission.

Spiegelman had been studying the economics of riding Uber and Lyft versus a taxi or driving a personal vehicle when he decided to run the math for his own car. He made a spreadsheet outlining the cost of leasing his Volkswagen: $458 monthly for the lease itself, $158 for insurance, $70 for gas, and at least $72 for parking, for a total cost of about $758. Based on those calculations, he said he has saved more than $1,100 in the last three months, spending an average of $3.42 for each UberPool or Lyft Line ride to work in August.

Ride-hail companies are betting that in the future — particularly after the introduction of self-driving cars — owning a car will become a thing of the past. LA, a city long known for car dependency, sprawl, and gridlock, has become a proving ground for this shift. More than a half-dozen Angelenos told BuzzFeed News they have ditched their cars recently and instead rely on Uber, Lyft, public transportation, bikes, and, for longer trips, ZipCar, Turo or similar services. And they’re part of a growing movement that’s slowly reshaping the Autopia that is LA.

The reshaping of transportation will have huge impact on real estate. Ride sharing, electric cars and self driving: these 3 vectors will reshape urban landscape. The whole idea of suburb is built around cars in the 1940s and 50s. Now we are going back to fundamentals and rethinking old assumptions. Very exciting!

Also all 3 vectors are driven by Silicon Valley. After mobile phone we have eaten another even bigger industry: cars.

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If there’s anything as frustrating as driving in LA, it’s parking there: The city issues more than 2.5 million parking citations each year, raking in $165 million. Christian Nurse, a 36-year-old commercial and music video producer who lives in the Fairfax District, had been living in LA for about 14 years by the time Uber launched there in 2012. He was sick of all the parking tickets that regularly collected on his Jeep Wrangler’s windshield.

“Having a car in LA is a giant pain in the ass. You’re always worried about it,” Nurse said “It’s this giant expensive thing that you constantly need to be aware of when you’re in it, when you’re not in it.”

Nurse did the math and realized even if he rode Uber everywhere, it would cost him about the same amount as owning a car. So he sold the Jeep.

Ah. I did’t think of the parking ticket angle. Cities all over the world will lose lots of traffic and parking ticket revenue.

Agree. Thank you for pushing deliberation on this issue.

I am really fascinated by all these. The forces unleashed will be even greater than smart phones. And we have seen smart phones is a really big fundamental shift.

Steve Jobs once said that Segway would revolutionize transportation. I guess is too early and too,expensive.