Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 23 April |
Saint of the Day: St. George
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Uber and Lyft may actually be adding to the traffic problem


Gubin Yury | Shutterstock

Zelda Caldwell - published on 10/19/17

The success of ride-hailing services doesn’t mean there are fewer cars on the road.

With seemingly everyone taking Ubers and Lyfts these days you would think that there would be fewer cars on the road, right? Wrong. According to a recent multi-city study by researchers at the University of California Davis, ride-hailing companies might actually be adding more cars to the road, an article in Wired reports. For one, people who use these apps to get around aren’t necessarily getting rid of their personal vehicles. A whopping 91 percent of ride-hailing service users still have cars.

And secondly, Uber and Lyft might actually be encouraging people to make more trips by car. The study found that 49 to 61 percent of ride-hailing trips wouldn’t have been made if those services didn’t exist.

“It doesn’t matter who owns the vehicle,” Regina Clewlow, a transportation researcher with UC Davis told Wired. “It matters how many miles are driven on the road. So my swapping out a trip that I would have driven myself for a trip that I’m riding in is still the same number of miles.”

Is there any chance that ride-hailing services will find a way to make their undeniable convenience a virtue? The article points out that there are ways to make ride-hailing more eco-friendly, but whether they will be popular with ride-hailers is another question.

If Uber and Lyft were to raise prices in high-traffic zones, for instance, that would make their rides less popular, thus decreasing traffic. Increasing the number of UberPOOL and Lyft Line cars that encourage riders going in the same direction to ride together would also cut down on the number of cars on the road.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
Bret Thoman, OFS
“Jesus, you take care of it”: Prayer of a priest Padr...
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for anxiety
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.