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Ride sharing (Uber etc.) adds to traffic congestion

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lamoe
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https://newatlas.com/uber-lyft-worsening-congestion/59642/

Weekday travel times in the Golden Gate city increased a shocking 62 percent between 2010 and 2016, and a growing number of studies are finding that ride sharing services are chiefly to blame. The latest study ran simulated traffic models with and without ride shares to determine how much impact they make.

San Francisco is by no means an enormous city, with a population approaching 900,000 it's only around the 13th largest in America, but it's by far the most future-forward spot in the United States, and the birthplace of Uber, Lyft and any number of other ride-share companies looking to disrupt the status quo.

With some 45,000 ride-sharing cars on the road making 170,000 trips per day (2017 figures), it's also an excellent test bed to see the effect that such services have on traffic flow. Ride sharing advocates would point to the numbers of single-occupant cars on the road, and claim that ride sharing – and Uber Pool-style multi-passenger ride splitting – makes more efficient use of a vehicle.

On the other hand, you're also radically lowering the bar to get into the taxi business, and flooding the roads with tens of thousands of vehicles purchased mainly to be used as ride share services, who spend as much as 20 percent (in SF) to 50 percent (in New York City) rolling about waiting for a job with no passenger on board.

And according to a growing number of studies, including one recently published in Science Advances, that's having a huge effect on traffic. The study tracked traffic congestion in San Francisco, finding that weekday hours of delay have grown by 62 percent between 2010, when there was negligible ride-sharing traffic, and 2016, by which time ride share services had exploded to 12 times the popularity of taxi services and represented an enormous 15 percent of all intra-San Francisco trips.

The study uses the SF-CHAMP travel demand model, which is described as "a regional travel demand model that is used to assess the impacts of land use, socioeconomic, and transportation system changes on the performance of the local transportation system." The model is used in all kinds of applications, particularly where transit decisions need to be made, and it's a complex model that takes all modes of transport into account, as well as things like multi-modal transport, demographics and land usage.

A University of Kentucky Team took actual transport data and ran it through the system using two calibration settings – one to simulate the transport mix as it was back in 2010 with no ride sharing, and one to represent the way things are with Uber, Lyft and co playing its part. It also used data from the ride share companies themselves, showing the activity of their car fleets both during and between ride shares, as well as a bunch of archived speed data from a company called Inrix.

As part of the data analysis, the team looked at the effect of pickup/drop off areas where foot traffic meets road traffic, and lanes may be blocked for a short time as passengers jump in and out of their ride shares. It also looked at major roadworks projects around the city and attempted to remove their effects from the results.

The study found that higher levels of ride sharing raise a bunch of different congestion factors. Vehicle miles traveled rose by 13 percent with ride sharing as opposed to by 7 percent without. Vehicle hours traveled rose by 30 percent with ride sharing, but would only have risen by 12 percent without it. Vehicle hours delayed was up 62 percent with ride sharing, but would only have been up by 22 percent without it. And the average speed across a journey went down by 13 percent with ride sharing, but would only have dropped 4 percent without.

It goes without saying, ride sharing has been one of the most disruptive transport technologies of the last several decades, rising from obscurity to near ubiquity in a matter of a couple of years and consigning traditional taxi services to the dustbin with generally better pricing, better availability, better fleet management and what's often a better customer experience.

"There's a clear benefit for the person in the car," said Greg Erhardt, assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Kentucky and lead author of the study. "They're getting a better experience, or they wouldn't do it. But there is a negative impact on everyone else: on the road system, other drivers and the people on the bus who also have to wait in traffic."

One proposal to help bring these suffocating congestion markers down is to simply slap a congestion pricing model on urban transport, charging people more for driving in heavy traffic areas or during peak periods. Indeed, says Erhardt, companies like Uber tend to be in favor of such measures, betting that the cars that congestion taxes take off the road can lead to more ride shares.

With most folk predicting a future where tens of thousands more autonomous robocabs begin to hit the streets offering even cheaper rides without any drivers at all, there's a good chance traffic might get a lot worse before it starts to get better. At least you'll have both hands free to play with your phone while you wait.

Source: University of Kentucky

 

 

Edited by lamoe
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Dafey
14 hours ago, lamoe said:

One proposal to help bring these suffocating congestion markers down is to simply slap a congestion pricing model on urban transport

Or...they could build an infrastructure to accommodate growth?

What a load of crap! They are blaming Uber and it's passengers for not taking the bus, which is a crappy mode of transportation, and takes twice as long to get to where you are going...if it doesn't run into problems.

So their solution is to stop using vehicles that carry multiple riders and everyone take the bus.

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Paddy

I read this last night and slept on it. This morning I’m still not 100% convinced of the methodology. 

I find it hard to believe that the bulk of congestion increase is due to Uber et al. If it is, then the transit fleets, taxi fleets and private vehicles have not declined - or - a lot more people decided to travel - or - some of the parameters fed into that model were chosen inappropriately?

For the record, I’m not a fan of the business model of Uber et al.

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SkyMan

Taking the bus is a great idea if one happens to be going near where you are and another happens to be going near where you're going and the 2 cross paths somewhere.  But what a PITA. I'm sure people take the bus to regular destination but for a trip here or there nobody wants to pull out a bunch of bus schedules when they call uber and go straight where they want.

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SkyMan

I imagine a lot of people don't have personal vehicles ( or as many) because uber is available. 

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lamoe

Consider the city - poor location (only 2 access points),  highly congested already, no ride sharing staging areas.

Even Chicago which is actually a fantastic city for point A to point B travel has a highly congested downtown area - notice the 33% difference even without traffic - funny thing is LA is rated higher at 27 Mph but also worst  for driving congestion - 104 hours a year or 34% additional during rush hour

'I could go a lot faster if it weren't for the other cars':ROFLMAO:

Quote

 

http://infinitemonkeycorps.net/projects/cityspeed/

Below are the average driving speeds of several U.S. cities, without traffic, as computed from Google Maps.

Chicago 24

San Fran 18

 

 According to Google  Lex hotel to airport - 15 Km / 36 Min

 

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Paddy
3 hours ago, SkyMan said:

I imagine a lot of people don't have personal vehicles ( or as many) because uber is available. 

If that was indeed the case, and Uber et al have also taken away regular taxi business, there should be fewer vehicles on the road - not more. Unless overall demand has increased way more than the Kentucky thinkers have assumed...

3 hours ago, SkyMan said:

Taking the bus

or the train or plane is the ultimate ride share really except that the traveller must adjust their destination to that of the vehicle.

If Uber was truly "ride share", there would be some level of compatibility between the traveller's trip and the driver's trip. If there isn't, as in the driver is simply going to cruise around town all day, then (my view) Uber is a taxi company.

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lamoe
5 hours ago, Paddy said:

I find it hard to believe that the bulk of congestion increase is due to Uber et al. If it is, then the transit fleets, taxi fleets and private vehicles have not declined - or - a lot more people decided to travel - or - some of the parameters fed into that model were chosen inappropriately?

 

Straw that broke the camel's back comes to mind.

Each additional car above optimum has a disproportionate effect

 

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Paddy
32 minutes ago, lamoe said:

Straw that broke the camel's back comes to mind.

Each additional car above optimum has a disproportionate effect

A reasonable hypothesis. Except that a population / standard of living increase and corresponding increases in transit fleets and private vehicles would get to that point without Uber. 

It’s a very complex system - which is why I find it difficult to believe “it’s all Uber’s fault”. 

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lamoe
19 minutes ago, Paddy said:

It’s a very complex system - which is why I find it difficult to believe “it’s all Uber’s fault”. 

It's not  - they're saying 2/3 of the increase is

How much of that is roaming vs traveling to a specific spot vs random pickup is not made clear

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M.C.A.

But how many of us use public transportation?  I had a tough time using public transportation until I caught on and now I see how many of my in-laws get around so fast and it's not that bad but if you're going to make this your final stop then it's a must to catch on and the only way you can do this is by using public transportation the airconditioned bus is pretty cool the other forms jeepney and trike not so much but I make those rides much shorter, I also don't take special rides I fill up the trike just like the citizen they usually take 4 passengers and the cost from highway to my home is 20 pesos if I take the trike by myself it's nearly 80 pesos it adds up.

I met Mormon Missionaries and they knew the public transportation system and the costs better than I did plus they have the advantage of speaking Tagalog or the local dialect I hear it's different in Cebu and I've been here 9 years, many of these guys have only been here 6 months.

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savarity

I use a lot of public transit, mostly the buses. MyBus and Beep around Cebu City and to the mactan/airport. Not into jeepneys, too close quarters.

ie, today's route was; walk to SM, mybus to nonki lapulapu, walk to Island Central mall, walk to airport, mybus back to SM, beep to city hall, walk home.

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lamoe
12 minutes ago, savarity said:

I use a lot of public transit, mostly the buses. MyBus and Beep around Cebu City and to the mactan/airport. Not into jeepneys, too close quarters.

ie, today's route was; walk to SM, mybus to nonki lapulapu, walk to Island Central mall, walk to airport, mybus back to SM, beep to city hall, walk home.

I thought I was doing good  - Winland to Carbon and back 1 1/2 hours 8 Km <>

Been to Island Center - anything special on sale there or assignation?

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savarity
I thought I was doing good  - Winland to Carbon and back 1 1/2 hours 8 Km
Been to Island Center - anything special on sale there or assignation?
It's a nice little mall. First time I went there today. Don't think it's been open too long. they have tgi friday's on the 2nd floor.

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lamoe
3 minutes ago, savarity said:

It's a nice little mall. First time I went there today. Don't think it's been open too long. they have tgi friday's on the 2nd floor.

Agree - went 4 months <> ago - but nothing SM City or Ayala doesn't offer

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