Uber, Lyft increased traffic delays in San Francisco by 40%, study says

Bay Area

If you feel like traffic in the Bay Area is only getting worse, we may have Uber and Lyft to blame for most of it, according to a new study. 

Here in San Francisco, rides through Uber and Lyft apparently increased traffic delays by 40% over a 6-year period, according to a study published in Science Advances. 

Analysts studied data from Uber and Lyft by simulating ride requests, which allowed them to map the position of drivers and to determine how many trips are being taken, plus where they start and finish.

According to the study, this had to be done because Uber and Lyft did not disclose any of their data out of privacy concerns. 

Analysts used a tool used by transport planners that takes into account population growth, employment rates, construction of new roadways, and public transit. 

The goal was to present a “before” and “after” picture of San Francisco’s streets before Uber and Lyft became popular modes of transportation in 2016. 

The model used was calibrated to 2010, before Uber and Lyft were widely used.

Using these methods, analysts found Uber and Lyft were the largest contributors to traffic in San Francisco between 2010 and 2016. 

The additional cars on the road and disruption of traffic from curbside pickup and dropoff increased the total vehicle hours of delay in the city by a whopping 62%.

Without Uber and Lyft in the mix, the delay grew by 22%, which means that the services accounted for 40% of the increase, according to the analysts. 

A study by INRIX ranks San Francisco as 65th most congested city in the world, and 8th in the United States. 

>> Click here to read more research from the study.

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