Report: Uber Hasn't Made New York Traffic Worse, But It Could

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Over the summer, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Uber drivers were making Manhattan traffic worse and commissioned a $2 million study to prove it.

Except it didn’t.

According to the Wall Street Journal, findings from the report will show that ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft haven’t significantly increased congestion in Manhattan, but it might if it continues its current trajectory.

So, what else do you have?

The report is fodder for a growing debate between city officials and ride-sharing services that could be sapping public transit money from large cities. How New York officials plan on taxing or reducing ride-sharing permits to keep from bankrupting buses and subway systems could become a blueprint for other cities later on.

Last year, the National Resources Defense Council’s Urban Solution program said it would study the impact that more Uber/Lyft cars on the road is having on the environment.

One solution, according to the Wall Street Journal, may be to incentivize carpooling for ride-sharing services to cut down on single-passenger trips.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • Xeranar Xeranar on Jan 15, 2016

    Tip to Cole: Don't post a link to a statement that doesn't support your argument, it just makes you look bad. I get that your comment section is the Trump/Cruz brigade but reality still has a bite. Somewhere in the sea of links there may be a reference to De Blasio outright claiming Uber was increasing traffic congestion but your current link doesn't provide that and it seems pretty clear he would only be suggesting that if he went ahead and put together a two million dollar study to verify it. Never mind that the study more or less points out what is likely on the way to happening as yellow cabs remain for the average joes who can't afford the more expensive uber/lyft model. Never mind we're heading right back towards private enterprise boom/bust cycles as uber fights to dismantle the taxis services just to raise fares when they cease to be. I'm more interested to see if Uber can survive a court battle for their entire fleet of 'independent contractors' since that seems like a hail mary even with a conservative court. If they're forced to act like a regular corporation this whole 'disruption' via ICs is likely to collapse.

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    • Jthorner Jthorner on Jan 17, 2016

      @CJinSD UBER only serves people with a smart phone and a credit card. That alone limits the population of UBER clients.

  • Tedward Tedward on Jan 16, 2016

    NYC has a taxi and limousine commission that has simply outlived it's usefulness. Given how poorly it had managed and abused its authority under Bloomberg, and the overly conservative reaction it has had to changes in its marketplace under this mayor, it needs a frame up rebuild. It's not evil, there will be a need for a regulatory body here, but the t&lc is simply not positioned to accomplish that task as it exists today. A lot of ny'ers will never forgive their budget driven abuses of authority in the recent past. Unlike say, the nypd, no one supports them personally enough to justify a slow rebuilding. Raze it.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jan 16, 2016

    How times have changed. Progressive these days means doing exactly opposite - fighting trying to stop progress and force society back to the stone age (or to Dark Ages like in Europe). I wonder when De Blazzio decides to outlaw Internet.

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    • Tedward Tedward on Jan 18, 2016

      @Inside Looking Out If I may on the nazi dog whistling. You guys should knock it off. The first claim was dark wing clearly drawing a comparison between democrats and hitler. This is not only stupid, it's counterproductive. Pch for his part is maybe having too much fun skewering inside out for the disturbing admission that he doesn't understand the difference between biological evolution and social darwinism. Hint, conflating social darwinism with darwinism is what put the religious right off of evolution in the first place (there is no truer anti-charity position), not the idiotic fundamentalist argument that "I didn't come from no monkey!" Dark wings original comment was stupid bc the idea that a psychopath authoritarian racist is clearly mirroring only one of our parties is absurd. You can find common threads in both. The Republicans are clearly employing the exonophobic appeal arguments that hitler used to rally his populist movement, there is no seriously arguing against that. It's exactly why the Jewish community as a whole hasn't been receptive to their politics until recently. It's the only reason the Hispanic community doesn't vote republican en mass. The dems for their part tend to appeal to economic populism in a non constructive way, again, just like the nazi rise. The common thread here is populism, not hitler, not genocide.

  • PentastarPride PentastarPride on Jan 16, 2016

    I'm glad that I live in a small community that has a resourceful government respectful of the taxpayer. The result for my wife and I is a low tax bill. Granted, $2m in a city of 8m is a drop in the bucket but it still adds up. The reason behind it all is pointless for any amount of money, even for $500, or for that matter, $5. Instead of singling out Uber or whatever, use the $2m to improve roads in a physical sense--hard hat workers shoveling away. It won't go far but it's the concept. It's not just Uber. There's a bigger picture. The other issue is the fact that the "research" will be slanted in favor of the existing taxi companies and NYC's municipal transit system. This "research" will encapsulate the acts of protectionism and crony "capitalism". They'll convince the public that it's all Uber's fault and get them up in arms. Individuals who take part in Uber and all of the other ride-share networks will then face stiff regulation and pay substantial taxes and fees, finding it harder to justify being part of Uber or other ride-share networks. Sound familiar? It will all be by design--instead of embracing competition and free markets, we'll destroy free enterprise.