Yesterday’s news that General Motors has invested $500 million in the mustachioed ride-sharing service Lyft, with plans for the building of a fleet of self-driving cars, is yet another sign of the massive transformation under way in America’s transportation systems.
As Goldman Sachs noted in a report last year, only 15 percent of Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000, the largest generation in our country’s history) consider it “extremely important” to own a car. Fully 30 percent of this cohort say they have no plans to buy a car in the near future. They are far more comfortable than pre-Reagan Era folks are with the “sharing economy.” They’re happy to rely on services like Lyft and Uber (as well as public transit) to get around.
So why is the North Central Texas Council of Governments continuing to operate as if its past assumptions about the growth of vehicle traffic on our roads remain valid? Isn’t talk about the need for a new east-west highway across Dallas ignoring important evidence?