TNC revolution may improve access for low-income communities

New research by Anne Brown finds that transportation network companies are invading auto-access deserts, serving disadvantaged lower-income populations, and offering an alternative to the historically discriminatory taxi industry. By studying data provided by Lyft, the author found that, by some measures, Lyft reached 99.8 percent of the population of Los Angeles County, narrowing the mobility gap for underserved populations.

Uber and Lyft look toward electric vehicles

Uber is testing new actions to help its drivers who use electric vehicles. The company says it wants to increase the number of electric vehicle trips it provides each year, as well as the charging infrastructure required to do this. Lyft is also looking to increase electric vehicle trips and already spends millions to purchase carbon offsets for every trip. What is the real incentive for Uber and Lyft behind these policies?

Opportunities and potential bias in new transportation data

A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress examines congestion on roadways in the United States and considers the potential and pitfalls of new data sources, such as those provided by private ride hailing companies including Uber and others. Although cities are eager to access these private sources of data, the report warns that planners should be careful of relying too heavily on these sources.

Opportunities and potential bias in new transportation data

A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress examines congestion on roadways in the United States and considers the potential and pitfalls of new data sources, such as those provided by private ride hailing companies including Uber and others. Although cities are eager to access these private sources of data, the report warns that planners should be careful of relying too heavily on these sources.

Household car travel dropping steadily

Update: Our original post noted a major decrease in household vehicle miles traveled from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey to the 2017 survey. Due to methodological changes from year-to-year, we’re looking deeper into the new data to validate any apparent trends in travel behavior.
Until we can validate the methodology and numbers, we have removed the post. 

Downtown parking: A declining business

What effect do Uber and Lyft have on parking demand in urban areas? Ace Parking has experienced a sizeable drop in demand for parking in the company’s San Diego location. Parking at hotels in San Diego has dropped by five to ten percent; restaurant valet demand has dropped 25 percent, and demand for valet parking at nightclubs has dropped a staggering 50 percent. While the timeline for these declines is unclear, an Ace Parking executive stated that similar or more severe trends have also been seen in the company’s parking operations, which number close to 750 locations around the United States.

Chicago to use TNC fees to improve 'L' service

Chicago was the first U.S. jurisdiction to collect a per-ride charge from ride-hailing passengers. Now, Chicago and its transit authority are earmarking a recent increase in the fee to fund transit improvements, and they have announced the specific locations of the projects. Other cities and states are also trying out these fees and taxes, but their application is not yet an exact science.

Shared mobility principles for the rapidly approaching AV era

The Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, launched in 2017 and spearheaded by the founder of ZipCar, has now added corporate signers to its ranks. At the same time, one car manufacturer has announced plans to have fully autonomous vehicles on the road as rideshare vehicles by 2019, signaling that the autonomous vehicle era is rapidly approaching.

Tapping into TNC data

With the rise of transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, and growing concerns about their effects on traffic and curb usage, transportation agencies and local governments are eager for data. Data from TNCs, however, are heavily guarded. Many governments are trying to negotiate agreements with these companies and working on laws that require data sharing. Others, however, are getting more creative.

How land use and access to transit impact taxi demand

Significant research and debate in recent years have surrounded the impacts of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft on transportation systems: whether they reduce the need for personal vehicles, how they contribute to or reduce congestion, and how they impact transit ridership. A recent study published in the Journal of Transport Geography may help shed further light on some of these questions by examining taxi demand and its correlation to land use patterns and access to other travel modes in the Washington D.C. region. As the researchers point out, despite the significant growth of on-demand ride-hailing service providers like Uber and Lyft, taxis remain a key asset for urban mobility that can either complement or compete with other modes.