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Transportation network companies
Re-allocating space on streets to accommodate new uses – particularly for walking, biking, and being – is not new. COVID-era needs have accelerated the process that many communities use to make such street transitions, however. Many communities quickly understood that the street is actually a public place and a public good that serves broader public needs more urgent than the free flow or the storage of private vehicles. This book captures some of these quick changes to city streets in response to societal needs during COVID, with two open questions: 1) what changes will endure post-COVID?; and 2) will communities be more open to street reconfigurations, including quick and inexpensive trials, going forward?
Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) will impose challenges on cities that are currently difficult to fully envision yet critical to begin addressing. This research makes an incremental step toward quantifying the impacts that AVs by examining current associations between transportation network company (TNC) trips — often viewed as a harbinger of AVs — and parking revenue in Seattle. Using Uber and Lyft trip data combined with parking revenue and built environment data, this research models projected parking revenue in Seattle. Results demonstrate that total revenue generated in each census tract will continue to increase at current rates of TNC trip-making; parking revenue will, however, start to decline if or when trips levels are about 4.7 times higher than the average 2016 level. The results also indicate that per-space parking revenue is likely to increase by about 2.2 percent for each 1,000 additional TNC trips taken if no policy changes are taken. The effects on revenue will vary quite widely by neighborhood, suggesting that a one-size-fits-all policy may not be the best path forward for cities. Instead, flexible and adaptable policies that can more quickly respond (or better yet, be proactive) to changing AV demand will be better suited at managing the changes that will affect parking revenue.
COVID Mobility Works is an independent platform dedicated to collecting, synthesizing and sharing mobility initiatives that are keeping the world moving during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this platform is to help policymakers, innovators, researchers and advocates rise to the challenge of creating more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable transportation systems for all.
Before the pandemic, Urbanism Next developed a framework organizing the disruptions to cities caused by emerging transportation technologies on land use, urban design, building design, transportation, and real estate. COVID-19 has disrupted the trajectory of these emerging technologies and will, in turn, change some our original assumptions. This paper revisits the original Urbanism Next framework, taking into account the cascading impacts of the pandemic. This report is one of two reports completed by Urbanism Next on the impacts of Covid-19.
How is the COVID-19 pandemic changing urban living? In this paper, we explore the landscape of COVID-19 disruptions to date on land use and real estate, urban design, building design, transportation, e-commerce and retail, and goods delivery. We also highlight the longer-term questions and potential ongoing impacts COVID-19 might have on the built environment.
With the rapid growth of ride-hailing services, e-commerce and on-demand deliveries, demand for curb space has increased in urban areas.
This report examines how TNCs contributed to increased roadway congestion in San Francisco between 2010 and 2016 relative to other factors such as population and employment growth, and transportation system changes.
What are transportation options for people with disabilities in San Francisco and how have these options been impacted by TNCs?
The purpose of this study is to go beyond cataloging pilot projects to determine the lessons learned, emerging trends and considerations, and examples of promising practices from pilot projects in the United States and Canada. Researchers assessed 220 pilot projects and 11 case studies. Based on that assessment, they recommend 10 actions for pilot projects generally. The study resulted in 31 lessons learned organized by pilot goals, evaluation, implementation, outcomes, and policy and infrastructure implications.
This paper examines the relationship between ride-hailing and parking demand by looking at ride-hailing trips that otherwise would have needed parking.
This report explores how smart mobility technologies can address the current and future needs of transportation disadvantaged communities. It looks at the barriers different communities experience regarding access to smart mobility technologies, and potential solutions to overcoming these barriers.
"Transit agencies are forming partnerships with TNCs in order to make their services more available to a wider audience, to leverage new technology, and to improve mobility choices for their customers."
Transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft came onto the market with the mission to reduce congestion in cities, however data from major cities around the U.S. shows that they may be having the opposite impact on congestion and public transportation.
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are changing the way that people move around cities, affecting transit use, active transportation and congestion. Due to the rapid rise in popularity and lack of available data, city and transportation planners have been limited in their ability to make long-term decisions about transportation infrastructure.
Uber is developing an aerial taxi and looking to partner with cities who will allow testing of its upcoming all-electric vehicles.
Uber is working on a plan to launch an urban air taxi service and has just joined with California-based aerospace company Joby Aviation.
This study examines the impacts of transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft on trends in travel, parking, car-rental and the economy by analyzing the effects of ride-hailing at four major airports in the U.S.
This paper seeks to understand the potential causes of a decline in transit ridership by examining data from seven major U.S. cities – Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angles.
A New York State judge dismissed a New York City rule that would limit transportation network companies' drivers could cruise without passengers. The rule was aimed at reducing congestion and approved by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. Uber and Lyft filed separate lawsuits against the rule in September of 2019.
"A New York judge has struck down a proposal to limit the time Uber and Lyft drivers can cruise around Manhattan without carrying riders."
The town of Innisfil in Ontario, Canada has partnered with Uber in place of public transit. Low density development drove the town to choose subsidizing Uber over creating a public transit system due to the perceived cost of both. However, the amount Innisfil spent subsidizing Uber rides has already exceeded the amount they estimated it would cost to create a public transit system. Experts question the partnership, citing environmental and economic problems.
Statistica published the daily ridership of ride-hailing operators worldwide. The results are shown in a graph, visually comparing the ridership of Didi, Uber, Grab, and Lyft.
This article breaks down the varying types of ride sharing services in China and details their differing business models and levels of success.
A new law in California makes it harder for companies to classify workers as contractors. Companies like Uber, Lyft, and Postmates are pushing back, refusing to comply and filing lawsuits. Workers have mixed opinions on whether they agree with the new law. Some appreciate the flexibility of working as a contractor, while others want better wages and the ability to bargain collectively.
App-based companies will be required to treat workers as employees after a new California bill was approved by legislators. The bill provides increased protections for workers, but threatens the profits of gig economy companies who count on inexpensive independent labor.
Didi, a ride-hailing company in China, lost $1.6 billion in 2018 and is facing a multitude of challenges that will make reducing losses difficult in the upcoming years.
Lyft announces that 2019 should be its peak loss year. Partnership with Waymo self-driving vehicles may help drive down losses next year.
Large San Diego parking company Ace Parking has reported lower parking rates due to the increasing popularity of Uber and Lyft.
Lyft is turning their focus to profitability rather than growth. The company claims that operating profitability is within its sights for 2021. This change may be a reaction to growing skepticism of companies like Uber, Lyft and WeWork after previously high valuations by private investors.
Uber was banned from London in 2019 due to concerns about customer safety after it was discovered that the Uber app let drivers fake their identity in thousands of rides. Pressure to create more safety regulations for ride-hailing companies makes them more vulnerable to increased costs. As these companies regularly operate at a loss, new regulations could put them at higher risk for financial trouble. Regulators have been unapologetic, saying they must prioritize public safety.
Following Uber and Lyft leaving Austin, Texas, drivers and riders have taken to alternative methods to create ride-hailing services. Extents of this effort range from Facebook groups to a newly developed app, Arcade City. As of 2016, Arcade City was not registered with the city, and it lets drivers and riders determine their own level of comfortability with riding conditions.
A blog run by a long-time rideshare driver includes resources on what it's like to drive for various rideshare and delivery companies, and how to maximize profits and manage finances as a driver. The author also published a book, The Rideshare Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Driving for Uber, Lyft, and Other Companies, in 2018.
The City of Summit, New Jersey partnered with Lyft to reduce commuter need for parking within the city. This partnership expands on a previous partnership with Uber, extending the program for one year. The goal of the partnership is to provide greater flexibility for residents and reduce municipal lot congestion.
TNCs provide on-demand mobility service that either complements or competes with transit services. This article studies how TNCs influence changes in urban travel patterns as well as energy and environmental implications.
The growth of ride-hailing services has led to more traffic and less transit use in the United States, contrary to predictions that suggested the opposite would happen when transportation network companies first started becoming popular. Some data shows that household vehicle ownership increased in cities where Uber and Lyft are most heavily used, while there is also a growing number of urban households that own zero or few cars. The article analyzes this data to determine whether Americans own fewer cars, and discusses how vehicle ownership relates to population growth in several cities.
This article studies how emerging “smart mobility” systems will affect equity issues in Portland, Oregon. It suggests that affordable and improved public transit, ridesharing and active transportation could address many transportation challenges.
“Fehr & Peers was engaged by Lyft and Uber to determine their combined Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) in six metropolitan regions in September 2018 and compare that value to approximate total VMT in each area for the same period.”
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are changing how travelers get to the airport. This trend is negatively affecting airports, which depend on parking, rental car, and taxi fees as a primary source of revenue.
As people are relying more on ride-hailing services instead of driving themselves, cities are seeing a reduction in parking demand.
“New York City will be the first city in the US to charge motorists extra to enter the busiest areas, after the state agreed to a congestion pricing plan as part of its fiscal year 2020 budget.”
“Taking Uber or Lyft to and from work and to run errands might seem more expensive than driving yourself–but in many cases, relying on a ride-hailing service is cheaper than buying and using a car of your own. A new calculator compares both scenarios, and might help you decide to ditch car ownership entirely.”
This is a fact sheet suitable for use as a printed handout on Urbanism Next's topline research findings regarding TNCs.
Sustainable, inclusive, prosperous, and resilient cities depend on transportation that facilitates the safe, efficient, and pollution-free flow of people and goods, while also providing affordable, healthy, and integrated mobility for all people. The pace of technology-driven innovation from the private sector in shared transportation services, vehicles, and networks is rapid, accelerating, and filled with opportunity. At the same time, city streets are a finite and scarce resource.These principles, produced by a working group of international NGOs, are designed to guide urban decision-makers and stakeholders toward the best outcomes for all.
"Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions provides an overview and taxonomy of private transit services in the United States, reviews their present scope and operating characteristics, presents three case studies, and discusses ways private transit services may affect the communities in which they operate. This report is intended to help inform public transit agencies, local governments, potential service operators and sponsors, and other stakeholders about private transit services and ways these services address transportation needs in a variety of operating environments."
This purpose of this report is to help the cities of Gresham, Oregon and Eugene, Oregon understand the potential impacts of new mobility technologies – with an emphasis on autonomous vehicles (AVs) – and prepare a policy response. While Gresham and Eugene are case studies, it provides communities of all sizes information on how new mobility services could impact their communities and what they can do about it, from broad strategies to specific policy responses. While this work focuses on the various new mobility and goods delivery services that currently exist, the framework that is discussed here is also applicable to emerging technologies that haven’t yet been introduced, such as AVs.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a near future reality and the implications of AVs on city development and urban form, while potentially widespread and dramatic, are not well understood. This report describes the first order impacts, or the broad ways that the form and function of cities are already being impacted by forces of change including—but not limited to—AVs and related technologies.
In order to ease congestion downtown and relieve pressure on parking during the holiday season, the city of Boulder, Colorado engaged in a partnership with Lyft, Uber, and a taxi company zTrip. The pilot project, which ran for 11 weeks, involved the city subsidizing rides for residents of Boulder who travelled downtown using one of the partnership companies. This report presents the motivation, design, operation, and results of the pilot.
The Go Centennial pilot was the first pilot project in the country where a government or transit agency fully subsidized first and last-mile rides provided by a transportation network company (in this case Lyft). The Go Centennial pilot was launched in Centennial, Colorado on August 2016 and ran for six months until February 2017. This final report is one of the most comprehensive evaluations of a TNC partnership pilot, and details the goals, preexisting conditions, and procurement and design of the pilot. The report concludes with a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the pilot and a set of lessons learned and key takeaways.
This report evaluates the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's "The RIDE" pilot project. The pilot project, which is still in operation today, is an example of a public-private partnership, where the MBTA subsidizes ADA paratransit rides provided by Uber, Lyft, and Curb their traditional ADA paratransit customers. The analysis and modeling in the report is based off of data provided by the MBTA stretching from the pilot's start date in October 2016 through March 2018.
"The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), in Pinellas County, FL, was the first transit agency in the US to sign a service provision agreement with a transportation network company (TNC) to offer joint first/last-mile service subsidized by public dollars. PSTA’s “Direct Connect” pilot allows riders to get to and from bus stops in a taxi, wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV), or Uber TNC vehicle at a subsidized rate. PSTA’s overall experience developing, managing, and adapting the Direct Connect pilot provides insight into what transit agencies can expect when working with on-demand service providers. While operating on a larger scale, in a denser environment, or with a different ridership base may have offered different lessons in implementation, the Direct Connect pilot’s service design shows what is necessary for a successful launch of a pilot program: good data and transparency from all parties, as well as concrete plans for outreach and evaluation."
This report categorizes and summarizes efforts that are already underway in cities across the world to rethink curb management, to outline the key takeaways from the one-day workshop that involved city staff from Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and to identify major research gaps.
"This research explored how these new options could be synergistic with public transit models and detailed the experiences of two transit operators that entered into service delivery partnerships with a transportation network company and a micro- transit operator. Based on a series of interviews and the experiences of these two public agencies, this research provides a set of key takeaways and recommendations for transit operators exploring the potential of partnering with new mobility services such as transportation network companies (e.g., Uber or Lyft) and microtransit (e.g., Bridj or Via)."
"This Future of Mobility White Paper is intended to inform and guide policymakers and modelers developing the next iteration of the CTP –CTP 2050 –by presenting updated descriptions and analyses of developments impacting California’s transportation system."
The former mayor of Portland, Oregon, outlines what a smart ride-hailing tax looks like for American cities. He discusses how the City should price the TNCs and other shared mobility to ensure the urban equity and affordability goal. He provided six ideas for the full-benefits of a tiered ride-hailing tax and addresses likely downsides.
This report combines recently published research and newly available data from a national travel survey and other sources to create the first detailed profile of TNC ridership, users and usage. The report then discusses how TNC and microtransit services can benefit urban transportation, how policy makers can respond to traffic and transit impacts, and the implications of current experience for planning and implementation of shared autonomous vehicles in major American cities.
This article outlines the ebb and flow of Lyft's finances and how things have played out since they went public in March.
Uber has partnered with transit agencies in various cities all over the world to bring users options to buy train tickets on their app as well. This article gives us the run-down on the newly launched program and how its working.
The findings of a study on ride-sharing in 2 major U.S. cities, Boston and Seattle. Results found patterns of discrimination based on names of riders.
"This brief provides a framework for public agency stakeholders considering shared mobility public-private partnerships, to ensure that new partnerships are built from the beginning to include people with disabilities, including people in wheelchairs. While written with TNCs in mind, many of the discussions can be adapted for projects centered on other shared modes, such as microtransit or carsharing. Ultimately, planning for people with disabilities and seniors early in the process can help assure beneficial, accessible, and equitable service for everyone."
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.
"This report summarizes the status of twenty-nine partnerships between TNCs and public bodies around the United States designed to improve mobility." The analysis explains when the programs were or are active, if they were modified, the financial structure and performance audits.
"Ridehail services nearly eliminate the racial-ethnic differences in service quality. Policy and platform-level strategies can erase the remaining mobility gap and ensure equitable access to ridehailing and future technology-enabled mobility services."
This report examines the impact of TNC growth on traffic conditions in the Manhattan Central Business District (CBD), defined as 60 Street to the Battery, river to river. Using newly available data on TNC trips, the report presents a more detailed analysis of CBD traffic conditions than has been possible previously, isolating the impact of TNC growth in the Manhattan CBD during the most congested part of the day -- weekdays between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The researcher examined six jurisdictions: three in Canada and in from the United States. In helping frame the issue for B.C. and—more specifically— the Vancouver metropolitan area context, the researcher conducted primary research to understand the accessibility challenges in the regional context and to help frame the topic of accessibility within the for-hire sector.
This report presents findings from a detailed analysis of the growth of app-based ride services in New York City, their impacts on traffic, travel patterns and vehicle mileage since 2013, and implications for policy makers. The analysis utilizes trip and mileage data that are uniquely available in New York City, providing a detailed and comprehensive look at the expansion of app-based ride services and their impact on critical City goals for mobility, economic growth and environmental sustainability.
It is no secret that transit systems are chronically short in funding and increases to their budgets are tough to nail down. This article describes the common way that this funding is being sourced and why it may not be the best way.
"This report’s findings, draw on a thorough investigation of active and inactive partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs, designed to enhance understanding of project development and structure and how those were achieved. While partnerships between transit agencies and private mobility providers are not new, partnerships with TNCs create unique opportunities and challenges as both parties work toward mutually beneficial program models. This research is informed by dozens of transit agency surveys and follow-up interviews, past literature, and interviews with TNC policy staff and industry experts as well as FTA representatives, and provides a Partnership Playbook so that the transit industry can be more deliberate in its approach to working with TNCs."
This article outlines the changing numbers Uber has experienced this year and the sharp declining revenue. Chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, weighs in on the changes.
This report estimates that by 2030, a substantial share of the 175 million Americans who live in the nation's largest cities will turn to SAEVs, cutting transportation costs by nearly 50%, reclaiming time instead of losing hours a day to traffic and putting up with all the expense and hassle of urban automobile ownership. SAEV fleets will account for nearly 25% of all auto passenger miles traveled in the US by 2030. Such a change will have an enormous impact on health, safety, and quality of life in cities: Traffic accidents and fatalities will be reduced by nearly two-thirds. Pollution will be drastically curtailed. Cities can repurpose millions of square feet once used for parking to new green spaces or commercial uses while securing more affordable mobility and accessibility for elderly, disabled, and low-income people.
This report, BCG's latest on AVs, examines the case for AVs as a cornerstone of the urban mobility revolution, as seen through the experience of Boston. It describes transportation challenges, strategic considerations, scenario modeling and simulations, and field testing.
CityLab is launching Bus to the Future that puts public coaches at the center of the transportation future. It also plan to look at how technology can improve bus fundamentals. Automation (combined TNCs) could also transform surface transit.
The article discusses how new technology in transportation can achieve equity by leveraging technology. Strategies include defining boundaries, eligibility, and subsidies.
"This paper identifies three promising applications of new mobility services by public transit agencies, and presents economic, social, and environmental modeling that illustrate the value of such partnerships to mass transit systems."
Lyft's new Shared Saver option offers individuals cheaper rides for the price of waiting a little longer and walking a little further.
This doctoral dissertation analyzes the impacts of ridesourcing on several areas of transportation including: efficiency in terms of distance Vehicles Miles Traveled (VMT) versus Passenger Miles Traveled (PMT) – and travel times, mode replacement, VMT increase, parking, transportation equity, and travel behavior.
In the United States, public transportation agencies are experimenting with on-demand, shared, and dynamic models to augment traditional fixed-route bus and train services. These services—referred to as microtransit— are enabled by technology similar to the mobile smartphone applications pioneered by privately operated transportation network companies. As interest in this technology grows, it is critical for public transportation agencies and departments of transportation to understand the benefits and challenges of incorporating components of these innovations into publicly funded services. This research is informed by limited literature to date as well as a series of interviews with the project teams working on the pilots. It concludes with a set of recommendations intended to inform the design and implementation of future public microtransit pilots and service delivery models.
The Chicago metropolitan area has one of the most extensive public transit systems in the United States, yet there are many places in the region where people do not have convenient access to transit service. To address that deficiency, this paper identifies practical ways to give more travel options to people in areas that are underserved by transit, including people who are unable to own or rent a car or have physical limitations that prevent them from driving.
In this study, we present exploratory evidence of how “ridesourcing” services (app-based, on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft) are used in San Francisco. We explore who uses ridesourcing and for what reasons, how the ridesourcing market compares to that of traditional taxis, and how ridesourcing impacts the use of public transit and overall vehicle travel. In spring 2014, 380 completed intercept surveys were collected from three ridesourcing “hot spots” in San Francisco. We compare survey results with matched-pair taxi trip data and results of a previous taxi user survey. We also compare travel times for ridesourcing and taxis with those for public transit.
A new analysis tracking the relationship between transit access and apartment rent seeks to put some numbers behind the dramatic shifts in urban mobility. The new study by RCLCO, a real estate consultancy, and TransitScreen, a company that provides real-time arrival and departure info, analyzed 40,000 apartment developments nationwide, which contained roughly 9 million units, to determine how access impacts costs in different cities and neighborhoods. Results found that improvements in access to bike-sharing and ride-hailing made a more significant difference nationally than access to traditional transit or carshare services.
Upon the roll-out of AVs into our streets, the importance of public and private sector partnerships are emphasized. With increased mobility, the demand for private rides could be increased and therefore increase congestion in our streets.
"This report attempts to address these questions by further exploring evidence of how TNCs are affecting the use of public transit and personal automobiles in several regions."
"As e-commerce grows as a percentage of total retail sales, consumers are choosing delivery options with shorter delivery cycles. Not only does this mean that Amazon Prime customers (65 million subscribers in September 2016) can choose Prime Now two-hour deliveries for some high-volume items, it means other retailers are offering same-day deliveries, as are some package delivery companies (United Parcel Service [UPS], Federal Express [FedEx], and United States Postal Service [USPS]) in certain cities. This report reviews how express delivery services now operate, how they are regulated, and how they may affect the state’s transportation system."
The goals of this study were to explore e-hail (e.g., Uber/Lyft) knowledge, use, reliance, and future expectations among older adults. Specifically, we aimed to identify factors that were related to e-hail, and how older adults view this mode as a potential future transportation option. Data were collected from a sample of older adults using a pencil-and-paper mailed survey. Univariate, bivariate, and regression techniques were used to assess the relationships among e-hail and several demographic and other factors. E-hail may be a viable future option for older adults who have limited or stopped driving. More exposure to e-hail and continued evolution of these services is required to overcome older adults’ lower internet/smartphone use. Policies could be implemented at departments of motor vehicles to pair information or training on transportation alternatives (like e-hail) with elimination of driving privileges, or at doctors’ offices, senior centers, or hospitals. Potential underlying reasons for the findings are also discussed.
A review of legislative debates in these states finds that action was stymied by a range of issues related to driver background checks, service to disabled persons, fair treatment of drivers, competitive impacts on the taxi industry, and whether app-enabled ride services should be regulated by state or local governments. This blueprint for TNC and taxi regulation includes recommendations on five key issues that stymied approval of TNC bills in big-state legislatures this year.
A San Francisco judge ruled that Motivate, the bike-share operator that Lyft purchased one year ago, has exclusive rights to rent both docked and dockless bikes in the city.
"This paper presents findings from a comprehensive travel and residential survey deployed in seven major U.S. cities, in two phases from 2014 to 2016, with a targeted, representative sample of their urban and suburban populations. The purpose of this report is to provide early insight on the adoption of, use, and travel behavior impacts of ride-hailing. The report is structured around three primary topics, key findings of which are highlighted below."
For 50 years, American geography and land use has been centered on the personal car. The three revolutions in vehicle sharing, automation and electrification present new challenges and also great opportunities for land use and transportation planners. Absent policy reform, the three revolutions may contribute to more sprawl, but a sustainable planning approach that supports both higher-density development and lower single-occupant (or zero-occupant) driving can once again put people first rather than their cars.
"The aim of this paper is to show how TNCs could replace public transportation in the United States if subsidized at the same level of transit agencies."
This University of Washington (UW) study focuses on a strategy to manage TNC driver stops when picking up and dropping off passengers with the aim of improving traffic flow in the South Lake Union (SLU) area. SLU is the site of the main campus for Amazon, the online retail company. The site is known to generate a large number of TNC trips, and Amazon reports high rates of ride-hailing use for employee commutes. This study also found that vehicle picking-up/dropping-off passengers make up a significant share of total vehicle activity in SLU. The center city neighborhood is characterized by multiple construction sites, slow speed limits (25 mph) and heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
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