Results of the First Large-Scale Survey of Transportation Network Companies Use in the Bay Area

Results of the First Large-Scale Survey of Transportation Network Companies Use in the Bay Area

Transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft have grown tremendously over the last decade, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nonetheless, relatively little publicly available data exist about the users of these services, their travel behaviors, volume of use, the times and locations of TNC trips, and how TNC services are affecting transportation system performance overall. This paper describes the methods and descriptive results of the first large-scale smartphone-based TNC user survey conducted in the California Bay Area in the fall 2018 and spring of 2019.

Key findings

TNC trip-making on Fridays and Saturdays, which are often outside the scope of travel surveys focused on ‘‘typical weekday’’ travel, is about 38% higher than on weekdays. Agencies hoping to better understand TNCs, and new travel behaviors in general, may need to broaden their horizons for the types of data (and methods of collection) they need.

The new travel behaviors emerging in the Bay Area seem to be geographically concentrated in more dense, urban areas, with large discrepancies in the levels of activity taking place depending on the community type (i.e., rural/urban).

The impacts of TNCs on greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled, two critically important metrics of the transportation system, need much more focus and attention. Initial results shown here for mode and travel substitution are consistent with other results summarized by SFCTA

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