A lot of researchers are hitting the Uber and Lyft beat these days.
And with new studies finding that ride-hailing increases vehicle miles traveled, the trend has been to chew-Uber-up-and-spit-it-out.
However, a still-unpublished study from Carnegie Mellon University found that Uber and Lyft actually lower vehicle ownership rates. In fact, the companies could be responsible for reducing the total number of cars in the United States by nine million in 2015 alone, researchers Jacob Ward, Jeremy Michalek, Inês Azevedo, Constantine Samaras, and Pedro Ferreira found.
The researchers studied Uber and Lyft’s effects in each state by focusing on vehicle registrations, gasoline usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and vehicle miles traveled, all per capita. They controlled for events like natural disasters, “Cash for Clunkers,” and other events or policies that would affect vehicle ownership rates.
By combining this data with the availability of Uber and Lyft, the researchers estimated a 3.4 percent decrease in vehicle registrations attributable to ride-hailing across the country.
Yet despite this decrease, ride-hailing’s overall effect on greenhouse gas emissions is unknown, the study notes. In one scenario, Uber and Lyft could lower emissions by reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road. In another scenario, they could increase emissions because Uber and Lyft drivers might not park their cars but continue driving while waiting for another ride request. This is called deadheading.
Click here to read the full article: https://mobilitylab.org/2018/10/24/when-uber-and-lyft-entered-a-state-vehicle-ownership-dropped/