Technology Can Help People Go Car-Free, But Don’t Forget the Basics

Image: Mobilizing the Region
The cities with the highest share of car-free household are still the ones that excel at the basics of transit and walkability. Image: Tri-State Transportation Campaign

Last week, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group released a ranking of the top 10 cities for “wired” transportation, where newer technologies like bike-share, real-time transit data, and app-based ride-hailing services are helping people get around without a car. After rating 70 metro areas based on the availability of 11 different technologies, Austin came out on top.

Joseph Cutrufo at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s Mobilizing the Region blog adds some important context today, pointing out that the cities with the most savvy on transportation tech don’t necessarily align with the cities seeing a surge in car-free living. Austin, for example, has seen its share of car-free households decline in recent years.

The places where living car-free is most common are still the cities with two basic strengths: good transit and a walkable built environment. “New transportation technology can complement but can’t replace transit, density and walkability,” Cutrufo says.

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