- Date: 11/16/2021
Ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft have taken pains to position themselves as a partner to public transit, providing a…
A trio of researchers, two from MIT and one from Tongji University, has conducted an assessment of the impact of ride service providers Uber and Lyft on urban mobility in the United States. In their paper published in the journal Nature Sustainability, Hui Kong, Jinhua Zhao and Mi Diao describe their study of transportation in major urban areas since the introduction of transportation network companies.
The researchers found no evidence of a reduction in the number of cars on the road in urban areas. Nor did they find any evidence of less congestion. Instead, they found that despite the introduction of two major ride-sharing services, there was no discernable impact on the number of cars in urban areas. Car buyers bought just as many vehicles as they had before the new services arrived. They also found that traffic jams actually became both longer and more intense. And they found that ridership on other forms of transportation was reduced by approximately 9%.
The researchers suggest that ride sharing service providers have increased the transportation options that are available to the public, which has led to increased mobility. But they also suggest that sustainability of such services could be in doubt as urban planners continue to seek ways to reduce the number of cars on the road to provide more efficient (and cleaner) transportation options in cities across the country.
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