As more research comes in, it’s becoming a little clearer that Uber and Lyft are no substitute for effective public transit, and cities shouldn’t feel they don’t need to provide it if they’re allowing ride-hail operators. Recently it was discovered that New York City’s traffic is worse because of Uber and Lyft. Now the same has been discovered to be true in Denver and Boulder.
Ride-sourcing companies like Uber and Lyft add tons of traffic to Denver and Boulder streets, and make the transportation system less efficient by cannibalizing transit, biking, and walking trips. That’s according to a study by Alejandro Henao, a PhD candidate at the University of Colorado.
Uber and Lyft “could be part of the solution for better transportation systems,” Henao says. After all, 12.3 percent of Henao’s passengers said they wouldn’t have traveled at all without the car service. They could also help cities treat their expensive and space-hogging parking addiction, Henao said.
But mostly the study is a cautionary tale to cities that think private ride-sourcing gets them off the hook for providing convenient transit. It’s not a silver bullet for mobility
“Transit agencies cancelling bus routes and subsidizing Lyft and Uber rides — you see it happening more and more all over the country,” Henao said. “But we don’t fully know the effects.”