2018年5月19日 星期六

英語聆聽練習 01

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講解 (英語):連結

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

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