The Uber and Lyft transport apps, while aiming to improve traffic with their shared runs, actually intensify congestion, according to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) published on Monday. .
The results of the analysis indicate that, since the introduction of applications, urban areas have registered 0.9% more congestion, which lasts a 4.5% longer period. With the mass adoption of this means of transport, the number of passengers on public transport fell 8.9%. Private vehicles, in turn, suffered considerably less impact, with a reduction of only 1%.
How was the study done?
To arrive at these numbers, the researchers considered some variables, such as travel time in cars by application, the number of hours of congestion, the frequency of users’ use of public transport and the average number of vehicles that a family owns.
The study, which was conducted in the United States, considered these points in two scenarios. In the first, the impacts of Uber and Lyft were analyzed in isolation. In the second, the analysis was done jointly, considering all the time that the apps are operating.
According to MIT researchers, Uber and Lyft have not caused significant decreases in the number of private vehicles in the U.S. In fact, companies have only increased the number of cars in circulation and, in some cases, have replaced public transport – two factors that worsen traffic flow.
“Despite the ideal of providing a sustainable mobility solution, promoting car sharing on a large scale, our analysis suggests that [companies] have intensified the challenges of urban transport since their debut in the United States,” concludes the document.
Although the scenario is negative, the researchers admit that applications can collaborate to improve traffic in the future. After all, its introduction happened recently and there is still room for change.