Ride-sharing service like Uber and Lyft are creating more traffic, having made it easier than ever to quickly and effortlessly hail a cab, reports Sean Wolfe of Business Insider. One study found that they increased driving in certain cities by up to 160% in some places. These drivers spend a large portion of their time on the road without a passenger, adding to road congestion. The study that concluded this also found that 60% of Uber and Lyft users would have taken public transport instead of using their services. Car owners still keep their vehicles, in addition to using a ride-sharing service for added convenience.
Cities have long suffered from traffic before the advent of ride-hailing apps, holds Robin Chase of City Lab. A primary factor in urbanites using cars to get around is the transportation options they have. Better parking options, lanes for public transport and parking meter prices can strongly affect how many cars end up on the road. Ride-sharing services are still growing and getting better at putting people in cars together. Uber Pool is one example. Seventy-five percent of car commutes carry one passenger. It will take time to change that with new technologies, services and mindsets. Fees on Uber and Lyft are not the answer to this issue.