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Ride sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft have been an essential development for countless Americans, allowing many of us to get around our cities (and even pursue a side hustle) more easily. But despite all of their successes -- and their massive blunders -- experts are concerned that the aspirations of these companies could end up being detrimental to the very municipalities they serve.
Because the average price of a new vehicle in the U.S. is $35,309, owning a car isn't always a possibility for residents. Ride-hailing apps have been a blessing for many people who can't afford the costs associated with auto ownership, as well as for out-of-town visitors. These companies had huge effects on the U.S. taxi industry; despite the fact that taxi drivers are actual employees who have to comply with strict regulations and Uber and Lyft drivers are contractors with no real vetting process, Americans like the ease and low costs of booking a ride through those platforms more than opting for a traditional taxi cab.
In contrast, Uber has always maintained that the company is an ally of public transit. Ride-hailing is meant to be a complement for publicly funded transportation options, with Uber stating on its own website that the company actually supports local transit services by filling gaps in existing service and allowing passengers to more easily access their public transportation hubs. However, that messaging changed drastically when Uber publicly stated that its own growth is dependent upon its ability to compete with public transport -- a market that's been identified as being worth $1 trillion. From 2011 to 2012, U.S. passenger bus travel increased by 7.5%, making it the fastest growing form of travel in the country. But Uber essentially wants to keep passengers away from public transportation and their own personal vehicles in favor of booking a ride with one of their own drivers.
Although Uber lost $1.8 billion last year, transportation experts are worried about the company's new approach. If Uber is able to take over a large portion of its target market, they say, cities would become so congested that there would be no space to move on area streets. Large cities like New York would essentially screech to a halt. If passengers are forgoing subways and buses for cars and SUVs, crowded streets and highways will only get worse. And with Uber soon going public, it's unclear as to what's going to happen next. Although Lyft hasn't explicitly identified public transit as public enemy number one, there's reason to believe the company values itself at more than what the entire U.S. ride industry is worth.
Reportedly, some young passengers are fighting back to embrace public transit and shun ride sharing -- so there may be some hope that these platforms won't have the powerful impact that experts fear. But since public transportation is on a national decline, Americans may have to take action to prevent Uber and Lyft from taking over.
Although Ringling Bros. closed after 146 years in business back in 2017, the circus is far from dead. It's just thriving in new ways. An infectiously "a-Muse-ing" circus school based in Bushwick has seen firsthand the support of the circus arts from the local community. And while their real estate troubles have quieted for now, the troupe will have to relocate in three years' time.</P>
The Muse Brooklyn, a circus arts studio known for its affordable classes and events, first moved into its current space in 2015. In so doing, the company converted an old stone factory into a colorful studio that regularly flies people through the air. The <a href="https://www.cokinoslaw.com/news/research-facts/">U.S. construction market was worth</a> $1,162 billion in 2016, but owner Angela Buccinni Butch had no idea at the time that the renovation would be the easy part -- despite spending over $400,000 in upgrades over the past few years to ensure the safety and comfort of all.
The building, located on Moffat Street, falls under the city's loft law, which complicates regulations for use. Last summer, the Muse experienced permitting issues that prompted the company to cancel all events booked in the space -- despite the fact that those events are essential for financing community programming and the true costs of classes. At the time, Butch was facing the possibility of bankruptcy and saw no other option than to close the studio she'd worked so hard to build.
But fortunately, the Muse's impact on the community did not go unnoticed. Between its multiple locations and its mission to bring physical activity and joyful play to these neighborhoods it's no wonder that area families rallied to ensure that The Muse wouldn't close its doors just yet. Supporters wrote letters to city officials, an act which resulted in an agreement being reached between owner and landlord. That agreement will allow The Muse Brooklyn to remain in its current location for the next three years.
With that happy news, the company can continue doing what it does best. Many classes are geared towards beginners and aim to remove the intimidating (and often expensive) connotation of the circus arts. Since over 80% of adults don't meet the guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, The Muse can keep doing its part to help New Yorkers get active. There's even an event for kids taking place next month to encourage a love of the circus from an early age.
What's next for The Muse Brooklyn is a bit up in the air -- but then again, they're probably used to that. For now, they can continue to call Moffat Street home and give up the "traveling" component that seemed to be such an integral component of circuses of the past.
Spend the weekend or the summer in the Hamptons but make sure you stay at the best hotels the Hamptons can offer. Here’s a list of a few hotels that will for sure make the stay luxurious and make you wanna stay.Read More