When I hear of all the talk of Uber coming out of the United States, I am struck with a sense of disbelief. I cannot understand why the Americans, who at least in my impression seem to think that buses are very undesirable or even dangerous in certain cities, have suddenly come to love public transportation.
Luckily, there are statistics for this. The Flowing Data website compiled data from the United States Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey and created a great interactive map in addition to the following chart.
The vast majority of Americans go to work driving alone in their cars. Although there is a bit of carpooling, any mode of public transport is very, very rare. Really, there isn’t any surprise here.
The United States is very obviously not the ideal market for an taxi-like service. Uber is only skimming a very small portion of the transportation market; one that taxi-drivers used to own.