Some studies have already pointed out that transportation apps like Uber help to worsen traffic in cities. Now, for the first time, a survey used data from the company and Lyft to indicate that they are responsible for up to 12.8% of the distance traveled by cars in six American cities.
The survey points out that Uber and Lyft are responsible for between 1% and 3% of the distance traveled by cars in the analyzed metropolitan regions. However, the share goes up when considering only figures for the main cities.
In San Francisco, for example, companies account for 12.8% of the distance traveled by car. In Boston, the share is 7.7%. In Washington DC, it stands at 6.9%. The share of applications is lower in Chicago (3.3%), Los Angeles (2.6%) and Seattle (1.9%).
Carried out by transport consultancy Fehr & Peers and available on this link, the study was hired by Uber and Lyft. The numbers consider the relationship between the number of vehicles and the distance traveled by them in September 2018.
The survey also indicates that in more than a third of the distance covered, Uber and Lyft drivers travel alone. Cars are actually used between 54% to 62% of the route. For the rest of the route, drivers are either driving towards a passenger or driving until they receive a race.
The head of global public transport policies at Uber, Chris Pangilinan, says that while transportation apps “are likely to contribute to increased congestion, their scale is less than that of private cars and commercial traffic.”
The survey is another to point to the changes that transport apps cause in the traffic of large cities. In July 2018, a survey by transportation analyst Bruce Schaller indicated that Uber and Lyft replaced personal vehicles in only 20% of races.
To make matters worse, 60% of the trips could use public transport, bicycle, on foot or would not even be made had it not been for the ease of services. Schaller estimates that the platforms annually add nine billion kilometers driven in nine cities in the United States.