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First-of-its-kind Report examines Lyft and Uber ride data

8/14/2019, noon | Updated on 8/14/2019, noon
Respected transportation consultancy Fehr & Peers recently released a study analyzing Lyft and Uber ride data to determine the companies’ ...
(PRNewsfoto/Uber,Lyft)

First-of-its-kind Report examines Lyft and Uber ride data

Respected transportation consultancy Fehr & Peers recently released a study analyzing Lyft and Uber ride data to determine the companies’ combined contribution to vehicle miles traveled (VMT), a standard metric for overall vehicle activity in a region. This is the first report to use the companies’ own trip data as well as information from the Federal Highway Administration, state Departments of Transportation, and regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations.

Fehr & Peers found that over 97% of total VMT comes from personal and commercial vehicles for the six metropolitan regions studied: Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Washington, DC.

The Fehr & Peers analysis examined Lyft and Uber data on two levels, focusing on data from September 2018, a standard month for rideshare use without holidays, extreme weather, or other skewing factors.

First, Fehr & Peers analysts examined regional trip data for Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, determined by their respective Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) jurisdictions. MPO regions were studied due to trends of people often living and working in different cities or counties.

Second, Fehr & Peers researchers specifically looked at the most dense county within the MPO’s region, where the core city is located. The findings still show that the vast majority of VMT in these most dense counties is coming from personal and commercial vehicles, even with rideshare’s higher prevalence in urban cores. These findings are in line with other insights about city-centers, such as lower incidences of car ownership, higher tourism and employment rates, population growth, and more.

“Since day one, Lyft has been focused on increasing vehicle occupancy and reducing the dependence on car ownership. As we continue to pursue that goal, it’s critical that we have a realistic understanding of the impact our industry has on our cities and urban mobility,” said Lyft’s Head of Policy Research Analytics Peter Day. “Rideshare has improved lives for riders and drivers around the country. With this insight, we’re better informed of ways we can partner with cities on proven policies to reduce VMT and improve mobility for all”

“At Uber, our goal is to reduce the need for private car ownership while expanding transportation access for all,” said Chris Pangilinan, Uber’s head of global policy for public transportation. “Commissioning research to help cities gain insights like the ones found in this report is important so that we may continue to work together to develop the right policies that expand mobility while reducing negative externalities associated with the transportation system at large.”