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The Subtle Art of


WRITTEN BY SEAN GALLAGHER | SEAN@STNONLINE.COM T


he future is now. Kind of. For small groups, outlooks are bleak. For a larger share, prospects are bursting with infinite opportunities. Te reign of taxis has been broken.


Ride-hailing services from Uber and Lyft are decimating the traditional modes of paid transportation, with mass transit the next possible objective. Te concern now is that these companies, and ones with similar business models, have set their sights on the school bus. Uber alone has begun to consider expanding into other fields with a division called UberEverything. Tis department investigates opportunities to diversify outside of the ride-hailing sector, like food delivery and courier services. One such venture has been unveiled in the Pacific Northwest for beta testing.


56 School Transportation News • JUNE 2016


Tackling mass transit, such as the Seattle city bus system, UberHOP operates along a predetermined route, providing passengers multi-person, ride-sharing options. According to the scheme, it offers a smooth blend of conventional public transportation with on-demand convenience of modern ride-hailing services. Whether or not this proves successful is still up in the air. Rest assured, though, the replacement of the school


bus remains a remote possibility. Yes, the taxicab indus- try is in ruins and mass transit should be a bit worried. Yet, even with the chance that a number of ride-hailing start-ups geared specifically to drive children to and from school suddenly cropping up across the country, curtailing the dominance of the student transportation industry is slim.


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