Riding Uber and Lyft adds more external costs
(Bloomberg) – Ten years ago, Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. arrived in cities with a promise: By reducing personal car travel, private transportation companies could ease traffic and boost the use of cars. public transport. But it has happened the other way around: a lot of pre-pandemic research associates the increase in these services with sharp increases in traffic and a drop in the number of passengers on buses and trains.
Bloomberg’s Most Read
A new study now assesses the external costs associated with switching from a personal vehicle to that of a transport network company (or ERT): around 35 cents per trip on average. He found that even a fully electrified fleet of private transport vehicles may not fully mitigate the additional cost they charge to society over personal driving.
“Even though they strive for cleaner vehicles, that doesn’t solve the problem of all the extra driving, which continues to cost others on the road,” said Jeremy J. Michalek, professor of engineering and policy. public at Carnegie Mellon University. and one of the study’s authors.
In economic terms, “externalities” are the costs or benefits of a particular good that are borne by others, rather than by the person who makes or buys it, and which are usually not factored into. the price of the good. To determine the role shared transportation plays in generating these often hidden effects, Michalek and his coauthors simulated the substitution of 100,000 private passenger vehicle trips for ERT trips in six cities in the United States, using transport data. Available publicly from New York, Austin, Chicago and the State of California. Through a review of other studies that have quantified the externalities of driving in general, such as local air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and fatal traffic accidents, they approximated the dollar amounts that the Company saves or spends when people choose to take Uber or Lyft instead of their own cars.
Private transportation is helping on at least one front, the researchers found: air pollution. When a heat engine starts cold, it releases more particles and other pollutants than a hot engine, because its catalytic converter still does not work efficiently. Since private transport vehicles are used a greater portion of the time than private cars, their movements reduce air pollutants associated with ignition. This, aside from the fact that ERT vehicles are newer and emit less emissions than passenger vehicles on average, means that the simulated ERT change resulted in a 50-60% decrease in local pollution costs for the vehicle. air.
In total, switching from a private car to an ERT increased net external costs by 30-35%, or around 35 cents per trip.
Costs to society tripled when the switch from public transport to an alternative transport vehicle was made, the researchers found. These impacts are consistent with what previous studies have found on the effects of private transport on congestion and fatalities.
When asked to comment, a Lyft communications manager noted that personal vehicle travel is the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and said Lyft is working on technology improvements to increase driver use and reduce dead ends while reclaiming shared rides that were eliminated during the pandemic. He also referred to the company’s investments in bike sharing systems in the United States. Uber did not respond to a request for comment.
Source of the article
Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and is not edited by our team.