A new transportation study shows ride-hailing services are actually increasing traffic in big cities across the U.S.
Regina Clewlow, a researcher for the Institution of Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis, says a private Uber or Lyft ride not only adds more cars on the road, but drives people away from public transit.
“There are quite a few people who are shifting from public transit, biking and walking to ride-hailing services, so the net balance appears to be more vehicle miles,” she says.
Her study focused on Boston, Chicago,
Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco/ Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. between 2011 and 2013.
The real challenge is still trying to convince suburbanites to give up their cars.
“We need to figure out how to make these services more viable in suburban environments where private vehicle ownership and personal driving dominate,” says Clewlow.
She's urging policymakers and ride services to work together on mass transit plans. “We need to really facilitate the transition toward services like UberPool and Lyft Line, and also help ensure we're not taking people off of well-functioning transit services.”