Ride-share giants Uber and Lyft finally admitted in a joint analysis that they are actually making traffic worse.
The study examined major cities in the US such as Boston, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC. Transportation consulting agency Fehr & Peers analyzed the combined miles traveled by Uber and Lyft vehicles over a month-long period.
The research revealed that ride-sharing companies do indeed contribute to increased vehicle congestion in the metro areas. Furthermore, Uber and Lyft account for as much as 13.4 percent of all vehicle miles traveled in San Francisco. This is nearly double to what transportation officials in the city had estimated previously.
In Boston, around 8% of traffic is accounted for ride-hailing services while 7.2% is found in Washington.
In addition, only 54–62 percent of the vehicle miles traveled by Uber and Lyft actually had a passenger in tow. Around 9-10% of miles logged in by drivers are to pick up passengers, the rest is spent driving around waiting for a rider to pick up.
This study further proves that Uber and Lyft drivers are making the traffic worse due to “deadheading”.
Although the companies have fully acknowledged their contribution to traffic congestion, they have decided that a fare increase would solve their problem.
“The ride-hailing companies are positioning their analysis as a way to promote congestion pricing,” a report said. “[This] is a policy where drivers pay fees to access high-volume city streets.”
Both Lyft and Uber are set to report their quarterly earnings this week. Lyft will report after the bell on Wednesday, and Uber on Thursday.