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Studies Suggest Ridesharing Makes Traffic Congestion Worse

Published on Feb 18, 2020 at 8:20 am in News.

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While executives and proponents of Uber and Lyft made claims of reducing traffic when ridesharing first became popular, a number of studies are reporting the opposite effect. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), multiple cities across the country are experiencing an increase in traffic congestion.

While the original idea was that multiple people would share rides downtown and leave their cars at home, that’s not how rideshare services are being used. Instead, most riders don’t carpool. Instead, they ride alone. In addition to that, people in urban areas are now less likely to use public transportation – which puts more cars on the road.

Cities like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco are currently experiencing worse congestion. In San Francisco, a study in Science Advances suggests ridesharing networks are the biggest cause of traffic slowdowns, as it’s estimated they contribute to 60% of congestion. As a result, the cities are imposing new fees on ridesharing – which drivers and riders alike are finding frustrating. Regardless of that, other cities are expected to follow suit and increase or add fees to the service. In cities where Uber isn’t located, like Austin, Texas, a study by UC Berkeley found day travel speeds increased by 3.4% – which saves approximately $61 million annually.

Congestion from rideshare companies isn’t just a problem in the United States. The WSJ report also highlighted a study out of India. According to that study, there are shorter traffic delays when Uber and Ula, another rideshare company, are off the road. Traffic delays were reduced by nearly seven percent in Mumbai and five percent in Delhi.

Lyft and Uber acknowledge their drivers contribute to congestion; however, they claim the effects have been exaggerated in some studies. To combat congestion issues, the companies have begun incorporating public transportation into their apps and are adding services like scooters and bikes.

As congestion gets worse, there’s the potential for accident rates to climb. If you’ve been in a crash while in an Uber or Lyft, determining where to turn to get the compensation you need to recover can be confusing. Often times, multiple insurance policies come into play and going up against a rideshare company can be intimidating. That’s where we come in. The Rideshare Law Group represents accident victims all over the country. Reach out to our lawyers today for more information.