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The Impact of ride-hailing on vehicle miles traveled
Ride-hailing such as Uber and Lyft are changing the ways people travel. Despite widespread claims that these services help reduce driving, there is little research on this topic. This research paper uses a quasi-natural experiment in the Denver, Colorado, region to analyze basic impacts of ride-hailing on transportation efficiency in terms of deadheading, vehicle occupancy, mode replacement, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
For this study, the conservative (lower end) percentage of deadheading miles from ride-hailing is 40.8%.
The average vehicle occupancy is 1.4 passengers per ride, while the distance weighted vehicle occupancy is 1.3 without accounting for deadheading and 0.8 when accounting deadheading.
When accounting for mode replacement and issues such as driver deadheading, we estimate that ride-hailing leads to approximately 83.5% more VMT than would have been driven had ride-hailing not existed.
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