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The impacts of ride-hailing services on the transportation system have been immediate and major. Yet, public agencies are only beginning to understand their magnitude because the private ride-hailing industry has provided limited amounts of meaningful data. Consequently, public agencies responsible for managing congestion and providing transit services are unable to clearly determine who uses ride-hailing services and how their adoption influences established travel modes, or forecast the potential growth of this emergent mode in the future. To address these pressing questions, an intercept survey of ride-hailing passengers was conducted in the Greater Boston region in fall 2017. The responses, which enabled a robust description of ride-hailing passengers for the region, were used to analyze how new on-demand mobility services such as Uber and Lyft may be substituting travel by other modes.
The survey results described here provide a new window into ride-hailing utilization in the Boston Region. Our findings confirm many widespread assumptions about ride-hailing, but also provide new insights into previously unexplored and unmeasured topics. Ride-hailing is used by a wide variety of Metro Boston residents, and riders are relatively representative of the region in terms of race and income.
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