- Spotify will soon let you block R. Kelly Monday 6:01 PM
- New Click to Pray app lets you pray with Pope Francis Monday 5:30 PM
- Social media influencer known for hiking in bikinis dead at 36 Monday 4:54 PM
- Trump posts altered pics on social media to make fingers look longer, report Monday 3:20 PM
- Twitch user banned after telling woman to ‘kill yourself’ during stream Monday 3:06 PM
- Facebook introduces ‘Community Actions’ tool to petition the government Monday 2:04 PM
- Sarah Sanders, NRA deliver truly misguided MLK tributes today Monday 12:58 PM
- MAGA teen who confronted Native elder says he ‘respects all races’ Monday 12:57 PM
- Popular YouTube channel in danger of disappearing because of copyright claims Monday 12:24 PM
- The Krassensteins’ Reddit AMA gets trolled off the internet Monday 12:08 PM
- No, Trump didn’t break open the Pizzagate scandal in 2011 Monday 11:23 AM
- Producer of anti-abortion film says Facebook refuses to run his ads Monday 10:58 AM
- Ja Rule thinks he was also a victim of Fyre Fest Monday 10:21 AM
- YouTube beef between RiceGum and H3H3 gets ugly—and personal Monday 10:02 AM
- ‘Fox & Friends’ accidentally airs obituary graphic for Ruth Bader Ginsburg Monday 9:40 AM
Ride-hailing services likely worsening traffic in major cities, report finds
Dealing with parking is a major reason folks opt for ride sharing.
A new report from the University of California, Davis Institute of Transportation Studies is now shedding some light on the good, and the bad, that ride sharing is doing. The most important finding: It looks like ride-hailing services are making traffic in cities worse.
“We found that a large portion of travelers are substituting ride-hailing in place of public transit, biking, and walking trips,” writes study co-author Regina Clewlow for Planetizen. “These trips, which are being substituted for or generated by ride-hailing, are most likely adding vehicles to the road in major metropolitan areas.”
The study found that 49 percent of ride-hailing trips would either have not been made in the first place, or would have been made by walking, biking, or transit, instead. In these cases, people are taking vehicles in situations where they otherwise would not have—which means that there are more cars on our roadways. The main reason for opting for ride-hailing over public transit is that respondents felt public transit is often too slow.
This study puts some other concrete numbers to the ride-sharing trend, too. For example, 21 percent of adults have used a ride-hailing service, researchers found, and roughly a quarter of those adopters use it daily or weekly. The biggest reasons for hailing a Lyft or Uber: not having to deal with parking. Avoiding driving while intoxicated was a big reason, too.
Most ride hailing users (91 percent) haven’t changed their vehicle ownership status since starting to use these services, the research found. If they didn’t own a car before, they still don’t; if they do own a car, they haven’t gotten rid of it. Of the few that have sold their personal vehicle, most have replaced those trips with ride share trips—so there hasn’t been a net reduction in vehicles on roadways.
It’s still possible that ride-sharing could be helping out oversaturated public transit systems. But based on these UC Davis findings, it’s pretty clear that overall, ride-hailing services are reducing the number of people on public transit and increasing the number of cars on roads in metropolitan areas, instead.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.