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After taking on taxis, ride-share services now challenging public transit in U.S. Interviews with public-transit spokespeople around the US.
Interviews with public-transit spokespeople around the US. “In some of the largest cities in the United States and around the world, public ridership is falling in areas where ride-sharing services are on the rise.” Read the article.
By Clyde Hughes, UPI, Jan 8, 2019

TNC’s increase congestion

Uber and Lyft hide their data, except from the CPUC – which is legally entitled to collect it, but won’t share it. So the city drew in computer experts and did some data-mining to demonstrate that the TNCs – not just population and employment growth – are making traffic in San Francisco worse. Both companies now say they are “hoping to be part of whatever solutions the SFCTA wants to employ.”
Uber, Lyft responsible for half of growth in SF traffic, study says
Erin Baldassari, SJ Mercury News, Oct. 17, 2018
Uber and Lyft are responsible for about half of SF’s rise in traffic since 2010, SFCTA says
Megan Rose Dickey, TechCrunch Oct 15, 2018
Report summary by SFCTA
Downloadable report

Lyft, Uber increase traffic 180 percent in major cities
Riders are giving up public transit—not their cars—in favor of ride-hailing trips, according to a new report from a transit consultant who served as deputy commissioner for traffic and planning in New York City. Rider surveys show that “about 60 percent of TNC users in large, dense cities would have taken public transportation, walked, biked, or not made the trip if TNCs had not been available for the trip.” Read the article. Read the study.
By Adam Brinklow, Curbed SF, Jul 27, 2018

TNCs Mean More Cars & Fewer Walkers, Bikers, Transit Riders
A new study by UC Davis researchers looks at “ride-hailing” services like Uber and Lyft (aka TNCs) in cities. A large portion of travelers use them rather than taking public transit, biking, and walking trips, or staying home. In other words, these companies put more CO2-spewing cars on the street. Check out this very readable summary in Planetizen, October 11, 2017, by Regina R. Clewlow, or download the report.

Effect on Travel to SFO – Cost pinch for airports and taxis
Fewer people driving to the airport doesn’t affect the climate if the only difference is that a TNC (Uber/Lyft) car takes them there.  This study looks at effects on airports and taxis. Reported by  Amy Zipkin, SF ChronicleDec 13, 2017 Updated: December 13, 2017.

Regulating TNCs

State Regulators Lower Fees for Uber,Lyft
The California Public Utilities Commission voted to decrease the amount of revenue required from Uber, Lyft and other transportation companies in California, with little discussion, after hearing from representatives across San Francisco who demanded transparency and stronger regulation of the ride-hail industry. The CPUC defended the decision, however, and said the total amounts of revenue garnered from Uber and Lyft have increased, giving the regulators more than enough to work with. Read article.
By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, The SF Examiner, February 8, 2018

SF Sues California Over SB 182, Law that Shelters  Lyft and Uber Drivers
San Francisco is suing on the grounds that the law gives the drivers an unfair tax shelter and undermines the authority of cities to govern their own streets. “Uber and Lyft need to play by the same rules as every other business in San Francisco,” says city attorney Herrera. Read article.
By Adam Brinklow, Curbed San Francisco, Feb 9, 2018

SB182 Makes Regulation Tough for California Cities & Counties
SB 182 passed in October 2017 despite opposition from cities, counties, environmental and voter groups but with the support of business organizations including TNCs. It prohibits the state from requiring that a TNC driver be licensed anywhere except where the driver lives. This means a driver can be licensed anywhere in the state, and a city that wants to regulate driver training, charge congestion fees, or otherwise regulate TNCs on its own, has no way to figure out which drivers drive where. Read the bill.

Regulations by Cities, States and Countries
Presentation to American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Regulating Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) gives an overview of the situations around the country and the world.Professor Matthew W. Daus Esq., Distinguished Lecturer, University Transportation Research Center, August 2017
Map of TNC legislation by state in the US.  The map was last updated June 1, 2016, but the information consists of links to state sites that may be more up to date.

Effects of TNCs

Does it Help if TNCs Advertise Ride-Pooling Options?
Summary and links to related articles
Full report
New York is the only market in the United States where Uber & Lyft are required to provide trip and milage information (to the New York Taxi & Limosine Commission). This report analyzes the data. One finding: Even though TNCs have offered and heavily promoted “pooled” options such as UberPool and LyftLine since 2015, TNC mileage continued to grow rapidly. Why? First, single-passenger trips still predominate. Second, most TNC customers say they would otherwise make the trip by transit, walking or biking. That translates to increased mileage even if TNC rides are shared.

Just a Velvet Curtain for the Rich?
In this wide-ranging interview, transportation author Jarrett Walker portrays TNC’s as just another thing wrong about car-based cities. “There’s a basic occupational hazard of being a relatively fortunate or successful person, which is that you have to remember that your personal tastes are not a good guide to what’s going to work for the city…. to create efficient urban structures that are going to get us the right outcomes when it comes to emissions or climate change… we have to be continuing to develop urban structures that are versatile, that can be gotten around by several different modes, rather than urban structures that are utterly dependent on the car and that force everyone to be a motorist… The new auto-based technologies are yet another way for fortunate people to just check out [of] reality” Read the interview.
By Izabella Kaminska, Financial Times, Jan 26, 2018

Negative Effects of TNCs 
Analysis and evaluation of the negative impacts that the proliferation of Transportation Network Companies (“TNCs”) have had on the environment, people with disabilities, underserved communities, social responsibility and the sharing economy.  This report was written for  New York University School of Law’s Labor and Employment Law Center and Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Professor Matthew W. Daus Esq., Distinguished Lecturer, University Transportation Research Center

Effect on Downtown SF – Data at Last
Uber and Lyft refuse to provide information, but researchers used GPS, talked to drivers, and sat on the corners counting. They found at least 25% of downtown SF traffic at rush hours is due to these companies driving one customer at at time. There are 15 times as many TNCs as taxis on the road at any given time. Quick summary report here (cool graphs p. 2-4).

Shared Mobility and Transportation Demand Management
The latest Susan Shaheen overview of the effects of bikesharing, carsharing, ridesourcing (Lyft/Uber), carpooling and vanpooling on travel behavior, land use, social relationships and the environment. About 5 pages.


California lawmaker wants all Uber, Lyft cars to be electric by 2028
Senate Bill 1014 from Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) would set goals for the electrification of ride-hailing cars over the next decade, and set aside up to $300 million to help subsidize the purchase of electric cars by ride-hailing drivers. Spokespeople for Lyft and Uber said the companies were reviewing the bill. Read article
By Liam Dillon, LA Times, Feb 7, 2018

Taxing TNCs for Transit, Road Use

Citizens like the idea that TNCs (Transit Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft) ought to pay to use public streets for their profit, as taxis do. New York does it. Chicago does it. Can SF do it?

Uber and Lyft Agree to Pricey New S.F. Tax
The threat of an expensive November ballot measure battle compelled Lyft and Uber to agree to the plan before it reached voters.
Nuala Sawyer, SF Weekly, Wed Aug 1, 2018

N.Y.C.-Style Uber Crackdown Won’t Come to S.F. Anytime Soon
The landmark regulations for rideshare companies represent an interesting model, but in California, such power sits with the court of state regulators – namely the California Public Utilities Commission, which meets in San Francisco.
Ida Mojadad, SF Weekly, Wed Aug 15, 2018

Poll: Voters support new transit taxes, especially on Uber, Lyft
A survey by the SF Transportation Authority found that a majority of San Franciscans want improvements to the city’s roads and Muni system — and they think businesses including Uber, Lyft and food-delivery services, should pay for them.
By Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, Tuesday December 19, 2017 Read article. Scroll down to cute video of kids learning to ride Muni.

Chicago is Taxing Uber/Lyft to Pay for Transit!
The Chicago city council approved a 15-cent increase to the 52-cent fee that is already added to every ridesharing trip. The original per-trip fee initiated in 2015 was directed to the city’s general fund, but the new ride-hailing increase is the first of its kind to directly fund public transit.
Andrew Small, CityLab, Nov 27, 2017 Read more

The Case for a Road-Use Fee
An academic makes the case for charging a fee to private services that stress the transportation infrastructure. The author is a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think tank in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the author of Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow and Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City.
Anthony Flint, CityLab, Nov. 28, 2017 Read more

New York City Requires TNC Drivers to Have Taxi License
In order to pick up passengers in New York City for a TNC, any driver must be approved\authorized as a TNC Driver, and also get a license issued by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). The driver must use a TLC-licensed vehicle, and the vehicle must be affiliated to a TLC licensed For-Hire Base (company). Read the FAQ page for New York City TNC rules.

New York State May Charge TNC Riders for Traffic Congestion
More than a third of ride-hailing cars and yellow taxis are empty at any given time during weekdays in Manhattan’s main business district. Gov. Cuomo is expected to announce a congestion pricing plan, which must be approved by the State Legislature, as soon as January. Read the article
By Winnie Hu, New York Times, Dec 26, 2017

TNC Driver Equity

CA Requires TNCs to Insure Drivers (somewhat)
California passed a bill in 2014 (Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord) to require that TNCs provide some insurance coverage to their drivers. The law signed last year, Assembly Bill 2293, requires TNCs to carry a $1 million commercial policy for death, personal injury, and property damage, and it specifies coverages for different driving periods. Read the article.
Farmers Insurance said they would provide the insurance.
The Farmers insurance covers the period when a rideshare driver has on a smartphone app and is actively looking for a ride. During this period, under AB 2293 either the TNC or driver must have insurance for $50,000/$100,000/$30,000 with excess coverage of $200,000.
By Don Jergler, The Insurance Journal, May 27, 2015

About Bonilla: No longer a representative, she is now at the conservative Council for a Strong America. In addition to the TNC insurance bill, she wrote a bill supporting AV testing for public transit. AB 1592 authorized the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to conduct a pilot project to test low-speed, multi-passenger, shared autonomous vehicles that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator or operator. This would help expand CCTA’s existing transportation technology testing program at GoMentum Station in the former United States Navy weapons station in Concord. Read the article.
East County Today, Aug 31, 2016

TNCs vs Taxis

Five Key Issues Holding Up Legislation on TNCs
This paper reviews 5 key issues 1) whether creating fair competition between TNCs and taxis requires loosening regulations on taxis or expanding regulations on TNCs; 2)requiring fingerprint-based background checks for TNC drivers; 3) mandates for wheelchair-accessible vehicles; 4) ensuring fair treatment of drivers; and 5) whether state or local governments should regulate TNCs. Downloadable report.
By Bruce Schaller November 9, 2016