Do ride-sharing companies like Uber and others lead to traffic jams? A new study carried out in America, looking at the industry leaders Uber and Lyft, says that these transport network companies (TNCs) have intensified urban transport challenges since their debut in the US. Those involved in the study said that they examined three aspects of the impacts of TNCs on urban mobility in the US — road congestion, transit ridership, and private vehicle ownership to reach the conclusion. Although the conclusion might be different in other parts of the world, it is very important that this question be studied more.
The research has been published in Nature Sustainability in a paper titled, ‘Impacts of transportation network companies on urban mobility’. The researchers were from Singapore–MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Centre, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT, and College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University in China. This study takes into account the two most popular ridesharing companies in the US — Uber and Lyft.
The study covered mobility trends, socio-demographic change, and TNC entry at the metropolitan statistical areas level and found that these companies increased road congestion in terms of both intensity (by 0.9 percent) and duration (by 4.5 percent), and also led to an 8.9 percent decline in public transit ridership.
Contrary to the vision that TNCs can reduce the reliance on private vehicles, the researchers said their…