The study looked at combined vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in September 2018 in six major metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. - Photo via Uber. 

The study looked at combined vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in September 2018 in six major metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Photo via Uber. 

Decreasing traffic congestion has often been touted as the primary reason behind the use of ride-hailing apps. However, a new study, commissioned by ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft, found that ride-hailing vehicles actually increases traffic congestion in major cities.

The study looked at combined vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in September 2018 in six major metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. It revealed that ride-hailing vehicles' average VMT to be in the low single digits as a percentage when compared to overall vehicle traffic. 

In the Seattle area, Uber and Lyft rides made up 1.1% of VMT, the lowest percentage recorded in areas studies. At its highest in the San Francisco metro region, Uber and Lyft made up 2.7%. 

Metro region Other other VMT Uber, Lyft VMT
Boston 98% 2%
Chicago 98% 2%
LA 99% 1%
San Francisco 97% 3%
Seattle 99% 1%
Washington, DC 98% 2%


VMT numbers change when looking at metro region vs. core county.

For instance, while ride-hailing in the San Francisco metro area contributed 2.7% to total VMT, in core county, in made up nearly 13%. The gap is smaller in some areas, like Seattle, where VMT for the county increased to 1.9% on average.

Core rounty All other VMT Uber, Lyft VMT
Suffolk County (Boston) 92% 8%
Cook County (Chicago) 97% 3%
Los Angeles County (LA) 97% 3%
San Francisco County (SF) 87% 13%
King County (Seattle) 98% 2%
Washington, DC (City limits) 93% 7%

 

Among the reports findings was the revelation that on average, Uber and Lyft drivers spend the majority of their time driving without passengers in the vehicle.

Originally posted on Auto Rental News

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