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ABQ ranks in the middle for tech-aided transport


AP FILE PHOTO The Uber ride sharing app is seen engaged on this smartphone. Both Uber and Lyft operate in Albuquerque and have had different approaches with state regulators. Wed Jun 04 14:42:45 -0600 2014 1401914565 FILENAME: 172993.jpeg

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque’s tech-aided transportation services ranked 38th out of 70 of the nation’s largest cities in a study by the Public Interest Research Group and Frontier group.

The groups’ report compares cities based on the presence of  new technologies, including ride-sourcing services like Uber and Lyft, car-sharing services like Zipcar, bike-share and ride-sharing systems, apps for navigating public transit and hailing taxis, and virtual ticket purchasing, among others. The report says the research demonstrates how technological advances have made it more convenient to get around without owning a car.

“None of these options even existed a few years ago, and the trend is just beginning,” Jacob Peters, campaign organizer at New Mexico PIRG, said in a release announcing the ranking. “Technological advances are giving people new and convenient ways to get around more freely without having to own a car.”

Leading the pack among the 70 cities are Austin, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., which each have at least 10 of the 11 high-tech transportation options examined in the report. Albuquerque was tied for 38th with Honolulu.

Albuquerque’s ranking was bolstered by the presence of Uber and Lyft, Zipcar, plenty of open-sourced static transit data and the ABQ Ride app with routes and real time information. Among the services it didn’t have that were present in higher-ranked cities: bike-sharing services, one-way carsharing platforms like Car2Go and taxi-hailing apps.

The report calls on policy-makers and elected officials to explore ways to tap the potential of technology-enabled services to address transportation challenges and increase the number of people with the option to live car-free or car-light lifestyles.