Feb 17, 2020 - Economy

How Uber, Lyft made traffic worse

A sign with Uber and Lyft on it

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Ride-sharing companies aren't the traffic solution they'd once hoped to be, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: "Multiple studies show that Uber and Lyft have pulled people away from buses, subways and walking, and that the apps add to the overall amount of driving in the U.S.," per the Journal.

  • "Officials in San Francisco, Chicago and New York have cited congestion as the main rationale for new fees they recently enacted on Lyft and Uber rides in each of the cities."

Why it matters: "Companies seeking rapid growth by reinventing the way we do things are delivering solutions that sometimes create their own problems."

By the numbers, from WSJ:

  • "About 40%: The share of time ride-hailing cars in California and New York City cruise without passengers."
  • "2.5 miles an hour: Average downtown San Francisco traffic speed slowdown due to ride-hailing apps between 2010 and 2016."
  • "309%: The rise in ride-hailing trips starting or ending in downtown Chicago between 2015 and 2018."

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