What’s missing from Tesla’s new public transport plan

Walker’s mistake is in the following assumption:

“more and smaller autonomous vehicles would increase the overall amount of vehicular travel.”

The problem is that this is linear thinking and (seemingly) assumes there does not exist a demand within the current stock of car commuters to use a bus.

However we know this is not true. When the cost/benefit of commuting by car vs. commuting by bus changes, ridership changes. If we have more, smaller, more frequent buses/shuttles (which lowers the cost, both actual and perceived, of commuting by bus), many people who are currently choosing to commute via single passenger vehicles will choose buses/shuttles.

The net effect will be a reduction in the overall amount of vehicular traffic.

I’ll leave the math to the reader, but roughly 75% of people commute to work (in the USA) as a single passenger vehicle.

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