This research examines whether transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, live up to their stated vision of reducing congestion in major cities. Existing research has produced conflicting results and has been hampered by a lack of data. Using data scraped from the application programming interfaces of two TNCs, combined with observed travel time data, we find that contrary to their vision, TNCs are the biggest contributor to growing traffic congestion in San Francisco. Between 2010 and 2016, weekday vehicle hours of delay increased by 62% compared to 22% in a counterfactual 2016 scenario without TNCs. The findings provide insight into expected changes in major cities as TNCs continue to grow, informing decisions about how to integrate TNCs into the existing transportation system.
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The San Francisco County Transportation Authority funded this study.
All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or Supplementary Materials. Additional data and software may be requested from the authors.
Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/5/5/eaau2670/DC1.
Erhardt, Gregory D.; Roy, Sneha; Cooper, Drew; Sana, Bhargava; Chen, Mei; and Castiglione, Joe, "Do Transportation Network Companies Decrease or Increase Congestion?" (2019). Civil Engineering Faculty Publications. 16.