The congestion caused by ride-hailing 叫車軟體造成的交通擁堵難題

Ride-hailing causes traffic jams

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近些年來,透過用手機應用程式叫車上下班已經成為很多人常用的通勤方式。然而,隨著使用這類軟體的用戶數不斷增加,城市內的交通擁堵情況也變得更加嚴重:更多的車輛減慢了車流速度,從而導致道路交通癱瘓。我們可以怎樣解決這個難題?跟隨本集《隨身英語》了解新出行方式的利弊。

課文內容

Vocabulary: traffic and transport 詞彙: 交通運輸

Have you ever taken a taxi? In the past, doing so meant finding one, flagging it down and telling the driver where you wanted to go, paying, and possibly, adding a tip. And while this still happens, it’s less common than it used to be. These days, it’s much easier to open a ride-hailing app. All of the boring stuff gets taken care of. It’s a perfect solution!

Except that it isn’t. A recent report from urban transport consultant Bruce Schaller, who spent the last four years studying traffic flow in New York, concluded that the use of these app-based journeys is causing traffic jams. The 81% increase in these city-based rides means that there are now five times more of them than the iconic yellow taxicab.

“It’s the shift in patronage from public transport,” he told the BBC. For whatever reason, people decide that it’s just too much hassle. “That means moving people from larger vehicles into smaller ones, which means more vehicles to move the same people. Therefore, more traffic.” In addition, the sheer number of cars now looking for a commuter means that they spend 45% of their time empty, just cruising for a fare, and inadvertently clogging up the city’s infrastructure.

“They are out there in force at the worst possible times,” said Prof Christo Wilson, a computer scientist at Northeastern University, who has also studied the services. He refers to Uber’s traffic data, which ‘perfectly matches the peaks for the rush hour.’ He also adds that the low fares and convenience mean that people are ordering rides to go from A to B when they wouldn’t normally. Both help contribute to the gridlock.

So what can be done to stop traffic from backing up or bottlenecking? One solution involves combining ride-hailing with sharing. Many ride-hailing companies, such as Uber, Didi Chuxing in China and Ola in India enable customers to carpool. This allows travellers who share similar destinations to share the journey. The app enables an en route pickup,which means more streamlined traffic, and less time spent with an empty vehicle.

Could this decongest the world’s jam-packed roads? It is certainly one solution. But maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the more traditional public transport options. “Congestion is a really complicated issue,” said Andrew Salzberg, head of Uber’s transport policy. But, “There is no more efficient way to move people around than public transport,” he added. So don’t do away with that bus pass just yet.

詞彙表

flag down 揮手攔車
ride-hailing 叫車服務
traffic flow 交通流量
traffic jam 交通堵塞
public transport 公共交通
vehicle(車輛等)交通工具
commuter 通勤者
cruise for a fare 慢行尋找一位出租車乘客
clog up 使…堵塞
infrastructure 基礎設施
rush hour(上下班)高峰期
from A to B 從一個地方到另一個地方
gridlock(城市)交通大癱瘓
back up 堵車
bottleneck 在狹窄路段堵車
carpool 拼車
destination 目的地
en route 在途中的
pickup 接人
streamline 高效的
decongest 減輕、減緩交通擁堵
jam-packed 擁擠不堪的、水洩不通的

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How many more ride-hailing vehicles are there in New York than traditional yellow taxis?

2. How much of a ride-hailing vehicle’s time is spent empty?

3. Why are people taking ride-hailing vehicles than they normally would?

4. What solution to ease congestion do Uber, Didi Chuxing and Ola offer?

5. True or false: Public transport will never be as good as ride-hailing.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. If you’re going downtown, I wouldn’t take 2nd avenue. It’s ______ down there. You won’t get through.

bottleneck       traffic jam       streamline       gridlock

2. My friend and I are going on a driving holiday! We want to ______ along route 66!

flag down       clog up       cruise       back up

3. He won’t be long. He said he was ______ 10 minutes ago so another five minutes?

infrastructure       en route       streamline       jam-packed

4. Please stop combing your hair in the shower! It ______ the drain!

bottlenecks       gridlock       blocks up       decongests

5. Much of the country’s ______ was damaged by the hurricane meaning roads are blocked and power is down.

public transport       rush hour       destination       infrastructure

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How many more ride-hailing vehicles are there in New York than traditional yellow taxis?
The 81% increase in these city-based rides in means that there are now five times more of them than the iconic yellow taxicab.

2. How much of a ride-hailing vehicle’s time is spent empty?
They spend 45% of their time empty, just cruising for a fare, and inadvertently clogging up the city’s infrastructure.

3. Why are people taking ride-hailing vehicles than they normally would?
Low fares and convenience mean that people are ordering rides to go from A to B when they wouldn’t normally.

4. What solution to ease congestion do Uber, Didi Chuxing and Ola offer?
They enable customers to carpool.

5. True or false: Public transport will never be as good as ride-hailing.
False. According to Andrew Salzburg, there is no more efficient way to move people around than public transport.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。
1. If you’re going downtown, I wouldn’t take 2nd avenue. It’s gridlock down there. You won’t get through.

2. My friend and I are going on a driving holiday! We want to cruise along route 66!

3. He won’t be long. He said he was en route 10 minutes ago so another five minutes

4. Please stop combing your hair in the shower! It blocks up the drain.

5. Much of the country’s infrastructure was damaged by the hurricane meaning roads are blocked and power is down.

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