Studies Show Ride-Hailing Adds to Traffic Congestion

A new study shows ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are actually adding to traffic congestion in major cities.

Ride-hailing customers in the Boston area admitted they'd rather call an Uber or Lyft than ride a bus or even walk to their destination.

“Forty-two percent said they would have taken transit and 12 percent said they would have walked or biked,” says Alison Felix with Boston's Metropolitan Area Planning Council.  “Fewer than four percent said they were using ride-hailing to connect to a transit station.”

Eight out of ten people admitted they're not 'sharing' rides at all -- choosing to go it alone instead.

“We've estimated that 15 percent of all ride-hailing trips are adding cars to the region's roadways during the morning and evening rush hours,” says Felix.

Meanwhile, a study released in December found large increases in the number of taxis and ride-sharing vehicles are contributing to slow traffic in New York City's central business district.

It recommended policies to prevent further increases in "the number of vacant vehicles occupied only by drivers waiting for their next trip request."

A San Francisco study last year found that on a typical weekday, ride-hailing drivers make more than 170,000 vehicle trips, about 12 times the number of taxi trips.

Neither Houston METRO nor the Texas A&M Transportation Institute have conducted their own studies and would comment on the findings.

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