Observing Los Angeles

NYT report: How Uber is changing night life in Los Angeles

Downtown's Ace Hotel is a popular destination for Uber drivers. LAO file photo

The New York Times fashion and style section is back with another of those lightly reported Los Angeles cultural pieces. This one claims that the popularity of Uber and other ride sharing serves is changing the way a critical mass of people in LA go out at night. "Untethered from their vehicles, Angelenos are suddenly free to drink, party and walk places," says Melena Ryzik. "Even as their business models are evolving, these ride-sharing services, which include Lyft, Sidecar and others, have upended the social habits of the area, and rallied its residents to be more peripatetic."

Rallied to be more peripatetic? That's us. More from the NYT:

Once, only the privileged few, the studio bosses and pampered starlets, could afford to have a chauffeur and a waiting car to transport them around sprawling Los Angeles. Now anyone with a credit card can enjoy that freedom.

“This has allowed people to be more spontaneous, and not think about who’s driving, are you car-pooling, parking,” said Kelly Sawdon, partner and chief brand officer for the Ace, who uses the ride-sharing apps herself from her home in Los Feliz. “Uber and Lyft have made it much more affordable, and encouraged people to venture out of their neighborhoods, and to explore.”

That is especially true of downtown Los Angeles, which is enjoying the double whammy of a recent cultural resurgence — partly bolstered by the Ace, which opened its hotel and performance space in a historic 1920s movie palace in January — and the car services that deliver once-reluctant visitors. Along with Santa Monica and West Hollywood, it is the area with the highest ridership, according to an Uber representative, though the company refused to release specific figures.

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