Impact of Ride-Hailing Services on Transportation Mode Choices: Evidence from Traffic and Transit Ridership
Forthcoming at MIS Quarterly
62 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2022 Last revised: 14 Mar 2022
Date Written: October 31, 2019
The rise of technology-enabled ride-hailing services has affected individuals’ transportation-related decisions. The impact of these ride-hailing services likely varies across traveler segments who differ in their usage of various modes of transportation. In this paper, we develop and leverage a framework that allows us to examine the impact of ride-hailing services on the transportation mode choice for three traveler segments: drivers (who primarily use a personal automobile to travel), riders (who primarily take public transit to travel) and walkers (who primarily take non-motorized modes of transport). We first develop a framework outlining how the behavior of different traveler segments will be impacted by the presence of ride-hailing services, and these changes will be manifested in traffic congestion and public transportation ridership. To test the framework, we compile a rich dataset, combining data on public transportation ridership, traffic congestion, and individual transportation mode choice. Employing a difference-in-difference methodology, we show that Uber entry enables those who were walkers and riders prior to the entry of Uber to travel more conveniently as reflected in an increase in traffic congestion, while inducing drivers to substitute their use of private automobiles with a combination of Uber and public transit. We introduce urban compactness to assess the heterogeneous impact of ride-hailing services for cities that differ in their distribution of traveler segments. We find that Uber entry increases traffic congestion and reduces public transit demand more in cities with higher urban compactness, i.e., where the proportion of riders and walkers is higher than that of drivers. This work provides a holistic framework to understand the mechanism underlying the impact of ride-hailing services on public transit and traffic congestion. Urban planners and policymakers can leverage this framework, methodology, and empirical results to guide city planning decisions that have implications for sustainability.
Keywords: Uber, ride-hailing, traveler segment, transportation mode, public transit, traffic congestion, transportation ecosystem, urban compactness
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