Ride sharing platforms were hailed as a new era for transport but it appears as if that era still has to deal with traffic.
One might assume that more vehicles on the road would lead to more traffic and while you would be correct, its nice to now have some data to back that up.
That data comes to us from Fehr & Peers, a consultancy commissioned by Uber and Lyft to gauge how many miles the firm’s vehicles travelled in six US cities throughout September 2018.
The results from that study found that commercial and private vehicles out number Uber and Lyft vehicles by a measurable distance (99 percent in Seattle for instance). That having been said, Uber and Lyft are adding to traffic woes in some metros.
The most vehicle miles travelled were in San Francisco where Uber and Lyft account for 13 percent of the traffic in the core country. For clarity, a core county is defined as an area within a city where ride sharing app usage is highest.
“The research shows that despite tremendous growth over the past decade, TNC [transportation network company] use still pales in comparison to all other traffic, and although TNCs are likely contributing to an increase in congestion, its scale is dwarfed by that of private cars and commercial traffic,” head of global policy for public transportation at Uber, Chris Pangilinan wrote in a blog post.
What does concern us is that for Uber and Lyft drivers, they aren’t making money nearly half of the time they are on the job.
Fehr & Peers found that in some cities drivers spend nearly 50 percent of their time on the road waiting for a trip. While this figure is lower in busier cities, it does have us wondering how many local Uber and Lyft drivers end up doing nothing while waiting for ride requests.
It’s clear that Uber and Lyft aren’t causing traffic jams where they operate but we now also know that they aren’t bringing about a car-less revolution either.