Toward Inclusive Mobility: Ridesharing Mitigates Geographical Disparity in Transportation
39 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2017 Last revised: 11 Jan 2019
Date Written: Jan 9, 2019
Mobility is found to causally affect individuals' economic outcomes, yet as of today U.S. metropolitan neighborhoods still face significantly unequal access to public transit and taxis. We study the effect of ridesharing on geographical disparity in transportation by leveraging detailed ridership, pricing, and wait time data for New York City taxis, Uber, Lyft, and public transit. First, we use data from actual trips to show that ridesharing coverage is more likely to dominate that of taxis in neighborhoods that are less served by public transit. We then uncover the reason behind the low taxi coverage in low accessibility neighborhoods --- taxi drivers' lack of information about real-time demand. Thus, the advanced driver-passenger matching enabled by ridesharing companies fills the gap and consequently wins the market in these areas. Finally, we confirm the role of ridesharing through a consumer choice study, which reveals disproportionate per-dollar consumer surplus of ridesharing service in low accessibility neighborhoods. Our findings suggest that technologies can play a key role in mitigating long-standing geographical disparity in transportation.
Keywords: Ridesharing, tech-aided matching, geographical disparity, inclusive mobility
JEL Classification: L10, L91, D40, D60, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation