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Uber and Lyft Are Making City Traffic Even Worse

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City Traffic

Photo: Joey Lu

When you live out in the suburbs or on back country rounds, having a car is essential to get to any destination; walking to the nearest grocery store would be a day-long journey for some. But when you live in a big city, like Chicago or New York, navigating the streets on foot is significantly easier.

While city-dwellers often ditch car ownership, studies show that the increase in Uber and Lyft users is actually making city traffic even worse.

Uber and Lyft started off with a straightforward marketing campaign: ride-sharing services would help reduce traffic in the cities. Less car owners means less traffic, right? Well, their business model seems to be so successful it has backfired.

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According to the Chicago Tribune, Uber and Lyft have become so popular that they are adding to the traffic in cities. Yes, ride-sharing reduces the number of individual drivers on the road. However, with such a high demand for the ride-sharing services, those individual drivers are being replaced with Uber and Lyft drivers. Plus, studies have also shown that public transit commuters are switching to ride-sharing services, too, creating an overall increase in cars on the road.

In larger cities like Boston, ride-sharing services are most certainly not the only way to get around, but it seems to be the most convenient. The Chicago Tribune reports that 60 percent of ride-sharing users surveyed “said they would have used public transportation, walked, biked, or skipped the trip if the ride-hailing apps weren’t available.” Ride-sharing is not only a more personalized way of transportation, but it’s also faster. While you may sit in a little bit of traffic, your Uber doesn’t have to make 25 stops along the way like a train might.

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Lyft issued a statement, focusing their mission more on reducing car ownership rather than reducing traffic: “Lyft is focused on making personal car ownership optional by getting more people to share a ride, helping to reduce car ownership, and partnering with public transportation.”

Uber shared a similar statement: “Uber’s long-term goal is to end the reliance on personal vehicles and allow a mix of public transportation and services like Uber.”

News Source: The Chicago Tribune