Ride-hail services make traffic worse

Ride-sharing options like Uber were found to appeal to those who would otherwise have taken transit, walked, biked or not used a ride-hail service at all

With increased traffic congestion, cities run the risk of becoming a more hostile environment for pedestrians and cyclists and less livable.
With increased traffic congestion, cities run the risk of becoming a more hostile environment for pedestrians and cyclists and less livable.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • The explosive growth of Uber and Lyft has created a new traffic problem for major United States cities. Ride-sharing options such as UberPool and Lyft Line are exacerbating the issue by appealing directly to customers who would otherwise have taken transit, walked, biked or not used a ride-hail service at all, according to a new study.

The report by Bruce Schaller, author of the influential study titled Unsustainable?, which found that ride-hail services were making traffic congestion in New York worse, constructs a detailed profile of the typical ride-hail user and issues a stark warning to cities: make efforts to counter the growth of ride-hail services or surrender city streets to fleets of private cars, creating a more hostile environment for pedestrians and cyclists and ultimately make urban cores less desirable places to live.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2018, with the headline 'Ride-hail services make traffic worse'. Subscribe