CSG in the news: Services like UberPool are making traffic worse, study says

Washington Post, July 25, 2018:

In Washington, supporters of a new tax on ride-hail trips to help fund Metro argue that pooled rides should be exempt from the additional fee — or pay a lower rate — because they are carpooling. For some, Schaller’s conclusions cast that argument in a new light.

“I think it’s an interesting proposal, but then you have to again look at this study and wonder if ride sharing has enough of a net benefit such that pricing should be tiered,” said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the pro-transit Coalition for Smarter Growth.

Schwartz pointed to another one of the report’s conclusions. Lyft says that today, a third of its rides in major markets are shared. The company has outlined a goal to make half of its ride shared by 2022.

“Even if Lyft managed to meet its 50 percent shared ride goal, you still increase [vehicle miles traveled] by 120 percent,” Schwartz said, citing the report’s finding that 50 percent shared ride adoption would still add about 2.2 vehicle miles to roads, or a 120 percent increase in driving overall.

Schwartz called the conclusions “pretty sobering.”

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