Do transportation network companies increase or decrease transit ridership? Empirical evidence from San Francisco

Gregory D. Erhardt, Richard Alexander Mucci, Drew Cooper, Bhargava Sana, Mei Chen, Joe Castiglione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, have been hypothesized to both complement and compete with public transit. Existing research on the topic is limited by a lack of detailed data on the timing and location of TNC trips. This study overcomes that limitation by using data scraped from the Application Programming Interfaces of two TNCs, combined with Automated Passenger Count data on transit use and other supporting data. Using a panel data model of the change in bus ridership in San Francisco between 2010 and 2015, and confirming the result with a separate time-series model, we find that TNCs are responsible for a net ridership decline of about 10%, offsetting net gains from other factors such as service increases and population growth. We do not find a statistically significant effect on light rail ridership. Cities and transit agencies should recognize the transit-competitive nature of TNCs as they plan, regulate and operate their transportation systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-342
Number of pages30
JournalTransportation
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Lyft
  • Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS)
  • Public transportation
  • Ride-hail
  • Ride-share
  • Ride-source
  • Transit ridership
  • Transportation network company (TNC)
  • Uber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation

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