Martz: “You can live your life through your phone now. You can order pizza. You can buy stocks. You can get a date …”

You can even request a ride. And if you’re in Altamonte Springs, Florida, the city will help you pay for it. Frank Martz is city manager.

Martz: “We’re giving our local residents a way to get out from behind the wheel.”

Last spring, Altamonte Springs began a partnership with the on-demand ride service, Uber. The city picks up one-fifth of the cost of any Uber ride that begins and ends in Altamonte Springs. The subsidy jumps to 25 percent for any trip to or from the local train station.

Uber use has increased, and commuters love the program.

Martz: “They are thrilled that their local government actually got out of the box and tried to do something different.”

So far, most Uber rides have been around town, not to public transit. And the city gets a lot of through-traffic, so the program has not reduced the city’s carbon emissions.

Martz says that won’t improve until electric cars are the norm. But the program has shown residents like car sharing and are warming to the idea of leaving their cars at home.

Martz: “One solution is not going to fit everybody, so we’re going to look for how to put this together, what this Rubik’s cube of transportation looks like.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Filed under: ,