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Disruptive Transportation: The Adoption, Utilization, and Impacts of Ride-Hailing in the United States

UCD-ITS-RR-17-07

Research Report

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Suggested Citation:
Clewlow, Regina R. and Gouri Shankar Mishra (2017) Disruptive Transportation: The Adoption, Utilization, and Impacts of Ride-Hailing in the United States. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-17-07

Ride-hailing services have experienced significant growth in adoption since the introduction of Uber, in 2009. Although business models to support the sharing of vehicles (e.g., carsharing) have been present in the United States for more than 15 years, their adoption has been somewhat limited to niche markets in dense, urban cities or college campuses. To date, carsharing has attracted over 2 million members in North America and close to 5 million globally. Conversely, this new model of “shared mobility” is estimated to have grown to more than 250 million users within its first five years.

The rapid adoption of ride-hailing poses significant challenges for transportation researchers, policymakers, and planners, as there is limited information and data about how these services affect transportation decisions and travel patterns. Given the long-range business, policy, and planning decisions that are required to support transportation infrastructure (including public transit, roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks), there is an urgent need to collect data on the adoption of these new services, and in particular their potential impacts on travel choices.

This paper presents findings from a comprehensive travel and residential survey deployed in seven major U.S. cities, in two phases from 2014 to 2016, with a targeted, representative sample of their urban and suburban populations. The purpose of this report is to provide early insight on the adoption of, use, and travel behavior impacts of ride-hailing.

Keywords: shared mobility, carsharing, ridesharing, ride-hailing, Uber, Lyft, travel behavior