Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have transformed travel patters in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere. Tonight on City Visions, we’ll look at the impacts of these companies on traffic and transit.
Has ride-hailing decreased car ownership, as promised? Does it increase traffic congestion? What about its impact on public transit use? Can our existing infrastructure support this burgeoning practice?
Joining me to discuss will be:
- Joe Castiglione, Deputy Director for Technology, Data and Analysis at the San Francisco County Transit Authority
- Joël Ramos, Regional Planning Director for TransForm
You can see an interactive map created by SFCTA of Uber and Lyft pick ups and drop offs in San Francisco, as an example of their impacts.
Tune in with your questions at 7pm tonight, 91.7 FM KALW in the Bay Area or on the web.
The impact of ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft on transit ridership hasn’t been clear. Anecdotes and personal hunch suggests that they’ve hurt transit ridership nationwide and increased driving miles.
•Urban ride-hailing passengers decreased their use of public transit by 6 percent. Bus and light rail service were both used less often by Uber and Lyft riders, while commuter rail saw a 3 percent bump in usage.
•Many ride-hailed trips (49 to 61 percent) would have not been made or would have occurred via walking, biking or transit.
“Ride-hailing is currently likely to contribute to growth in vehicle miles traveled in the major cities represented in this study,” the report authors wrote.
This is an important step in understanding the cause of falling transit ridership. It’s also an argument in favor of policy action, like congestion pricing and switching from the gas tax to a mileage fee to discourage extra car trips.
But fundamentally, transit agencies still need to do what they can to improve ridership, which includes requiring more development adjacent to transit stops and re-evaluating their fare structure and service network.