Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are making traffic jams worse, MIT study reveals 

Researchers analyzed monthly data from metropolitan areas across the US where Uber and Lyft have been since 2016 and found the services increased congestion by 0.9 percent, which increased congestion duration by 4.5 percent


Uber and Lyft took the world by storm within the early 2000s, touting their ride-sharing companies as the reply to congested roads.

The notion has since been debunked, however a brand new examine from MIT reveals such companies are doing extra than simply including to congestion – they’re prolonging site visitors jam instances.

Researchers analyzed month-to-month knowledge from metropolitan areas throughout the US the place Uber and Lyft have been since 2016 and located the companies elevated congestion by 0.9 p.c – which in flip elevated the time caught in site visitors by 4.5 p.c.

Researchers stated that the presence of rideshare apps in a metropolis result in a 8.9 p.c lower in public transport ridership – that means extra journeys have been taken by highway.

The site visitors is made worse as a result of greater than 40 p.c of miles pushed by rideshare drivers are ‘deadheading’ – when rideshare automobiles cruise round with out passengers. 

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Researchers analyzed month-to-month knowledge from metropolitan areas throughout the US the place Uber and Lyft have been since 2016 and located the companies elevated congestion by 0.9 p.c, which elevated congestion period by 4.5 p.c

Transport community firms (TNCs), or ride-sharing firms, have made it simpler for the general public to get from level A to level B, however the newest MIT analysis suggests it comes at a value.

The examine, titled ‘Impacts of transportation networks on city mobility’, was a collaboration with researchers from Singapore-MIT Alliance for Analysis and Know-how (SMART), MIT, and Tongji College.

The group analyzed 44 cities within the US for the highway congestion mannequin, pulling knowledge from 2012 to 2016.

The outcomes confirmed TNCs led to elevated highway congestion when it comes to each depth and period.

Nearly half of all ride-sharing trips were found to replace what would otherwise have been a greener transportation alternative

Practically half of all ride-sharing journeys have been discovered to exchange what would in any other case have been a greener transportation different

For instance, TCNs elevated automobile miles traveled by 3.5 p.c in New York Metropolis and brought about weekday delays in San Francisco to rise by 69 p.c.

‘Whereas many earlier research have targeted on Uber alone, this examine takes under consideration each Uber and Lyft — the 2 hottest ride-sharing firms in america, MIT shared in a press release.

‘Whereas Uber accounts for 69 p.c of the market, Lyft accounts for a big 29 p.c, and its inclusion into the dataset would give a extra holistic and unbiased estimate of the TNC impact.’

The examine additionally discovered that commuters are selecting to hail a automotive, fairly than hop on a bus, trip the subway or stroll to their vacation spot – choices deemed ‘greener’ by researchers.

Practically half of all ride-sharing journeys have been discovered to exchange what would in any other case have been a greener transportation different. 

The study also found that commuters are choosing to hail a car, rather than hop on a bus, ride the subway or walk to their destination – options deemed 'greener' by researchers. Nearly half of all ride-sharing trips were found to replace what would otherwise have been a greener transportation alternative

The examine additionally discovered that commuters are selecting to hail a automotive, fairly than hop on a bus, trip the subway or stroll to their vacation spot – choices deemed ‘greener’ by researchers. Practically half of all ride-sharing journeys have been discovered to exchange what would in any other case have been a greener transportation different

The examine additionally notes that 40.8 p.c of miles pushed by workers of such companies are ‘deadheading,’ which implies they’re driving round with out passengers.

Researchers recommend that these deadheading miles are additionally including to congestion and site visitors jam instances.

Jinhua Zhao, SMART FM principal investigator and affiliate professor at MIT Division of City Research and Planning, stated: ‘Whereas public transportation gives high-efficiency shared companies, it may well solely accommodate a small portion of commuters, as their protection is restricted in most locations.’

‘Whereas mathematical fashions in prior research confirmed that the potential good thing about on-demand shared mobility might be super, our examine means that translating this potential into precise good points is rather more difficult in the true world.’

Each Uber and Lyft have beforehand touted their ride-hailing firms as ‘car-cutters’ by decreasing the variety of automobile possession in US metro areas.

Nonetheless, quite a few research have debunked the notion and MIT’s is the newest to show the thought fallacious.

174 main US cities, the information exhibits that within the prime 10 metropolitan areas automobile possession noticed only a one p.c lower.

‘Opposite to the imaginative and prescient that TNCs can cut back the reliance on non-public automobiles by facilitating automotive sharing, our outcomes point out an insignificant function of TNCs in decreasing automobile possession normally,’ reads the printed examine.



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