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October 24, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Rideshare of future in the works downtown

Image

Steve Marcus

People look over a bicycle storage area during a ceremony marking the completion of the Bonneville Transit Center in Downtown Las Vegas on Monday, Oct. 25, 2010.

Click to enlarge photo

A Tesla Model S is shown in the showroom at the Washington Square Mall, July 20, 2012, in Portland, Ore. Tesla Motors produces electric cars that can go from zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds, all without a drop of gasoline.

Imagine a world without cars.

Zach Ware asked some 300 people to do just that, then told them how a system of bikes, electrical vehicles, buses and, yes, a helicopter, should be in place by this fall to allow those living downtown to get by without their own car.

Ware, who oversees the remodeling of the former City Hall to become online retail giant Zappos’ headquarters this fall, said work was now moving quickly on a multimodal “urban connectivity” plan that has been in the works for two years.

“Imagine a world where you don’t own your car anymore, where you open an app and it knows where you are and you tell it where you want to go, and it tells you: Here are the ways to get there,” he said, outlining the plan at lightning speed, which is the mode for the monthly Downtown Lowdown presentations at the Construction Zone speaker trailers.

“You can be driven, bus, bike, take a party bus, and what if one of those was to drive a short range in an EV, or in a Tesla Model S?” he went on.

Ware said the plan would include 100 electrical vehicles – similar to those tiny vehicles tourists sometimes are seen cruising in down Las Vegas Boulevard – plus 100 Tesla Model S’s – a luxury electric car – and numerous bicycles that would be shared.

And the helicopter? “I don’t know: wherever a helicopter takes you,” Ware said.

He added the system it could be in place this fall or sooner.

“I hope everyone in this room will get rid of your car,” he also said, adding that more details would be on the way.

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