Uber and Lyft are being blamed for most of the traffic in San Francisco

Bay Area

We all know traffic is bad in San Francisco. 

But according to a new study, it looks like Uber and Lyft are to blame for most of the slowdown in the city.

In the “TNCs and Congestion” report released Tuesday, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority analyzed changes in traffic volume and speeds between the years 2010 and 2016 and noted about 50 percent of the increase in congestion can be traced to ride-hailing services. 

Data from November and December 2010 was compared to November and December of 2018. 

The traffic was measured in miles driven, vehicle speed, and traffic delays.

The City’s average traffic speed dropped from about 24 miles per hour in 2010 to about 20 mph in 2016, according to the report. 

That impact is noticeable especially during the evening commute, when ride-hail cars made up 60 percent of the increase in traffic from 6:30 p.m. on, according to researchers. 

Though you would expect downtown to be affected by ride-hails, other less obvious neighborhoods were impacted disproportionately by ride-hails, including North Beach and other District 3 neighborhoods, with Uber and Lyft causing a whopping 70 percent increase in traffic congestion there.

Both Uber and Lyft are disputing the findings. 

Uber said “this study fails to consider critical factors like the spike in tourism or the growth of freight deliveries,” while Lyft called the report “flawed and an incomplete picture of the transit challenges San Francisco faces.”

More from Uber:

“We are working closely with the City of San Francisco to generate dedicated funding for public transit projects. While we appreciate efforts to better understand the causes of congestion, this study fails to consider critical factors like the spike in tourism or the growth of freight deliveries, both of which have exploded since the study’s baseline date of 2010. It also completely overlooks the role new alternative forms of transportation like our JUMP bike product can play in reducing the need for personal car travel.” 

Here is a statement from Lyft:

This report is flawed and an incomplete picture of the transit challenges San Francisco faces. Congestion is a complex issue, and Lyft is committed to being a part of the solution. Since day one, Lyft has focused on creating more efficient, affordable transportation options that take cars off the road, increase occupancy of cars on the road, and reduce transportation barriers.Lyft stands ready to partner with SFCTA to advocate for solutions like congestion pricing and building more housing near transit to address the core causes of congestion.

>> Click here to read the full report. 

** Interactive traffic map –  


** The official release — 




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