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The Pamplin Media Group - More driving services, more traffic jams?
While Portland is starting a research on how Uber and Lyft help to increase congestion in the urban area, research and analytical evidence show that they help to address the issue and weaken the use of transits. In 2015, when Portland municipal officers unrolled the carpets to get Uber and Lyft to work here, "we thought it would actually cut the number of cars driven," remembers Steve Novick, the city's transport officer at the time.
Now, some are wondering how much of Portland's increasing road overload is due to over and above Lyft creating massive fleet of do-it-yourself cab riders "greeted" by smartphone users. "The streets are only congested with Uber and Lyft vehicles," says Nick Fish, Commissioner of the Council, who is living in the inner cities. "Uber and Lyft are known to be mysterious businesses, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation says it can't reveal much about their activities because the businesses have signed non-disclosure arrangements that the municipality was forced to enter into.
However, the office, known as PBOT, engaged the City Council last month to approve a survey of advisers on the impact of Uber, Lyft and taxi on Portland's road traffic overload. It should give some tough evidence to support anecdotal evidence from seafood and others, and may be indispensable if PBOT or the City Council decides to do something about the issue.
Adding up to 10,000 new over- and lyft riders to the roads of Portland indicates that they are adding to the increasing traffic saturation. Only a few short months after their legalisation in the town, the two app-based driving services have established themselves on the domestic markets. Since then, locals have been hit by turbulence and the disappearance of car and driver numbers.
Cab Radio, one of the two major cab operators of the town, "survived", but its driver go broke," said general director Steve Entler last month in front of the town council. "There is a mounting amount of local and national proof of the effects of Uber and Lyft. "They reduce the need for car parks, but they increase traffic" and reduce the use of mass transport, says Jarrett Walker, a Portland transport advisor specialising in mass transport.
" PBOT says there are more than 10,000 over-, lyft- and cabdrivers together, but it won't decompose the numbers beyond that. Uber Provincial General Director Alejandro Chou informed municipal administrators in May that the enterprise employs more than 7,000 riders in the town. But Lyft's motor pool has gone into the thousand.
A lot of chauffeurs work for both firms. Altogether, the municipality has charged around 700 taxis, but not all of them are used now, because the income has decreased. A lot of Uber and Lyft riders only work part-time, and their maximum effort is in the evening. However, the number of trips on offer is skyrocketing at a times when the cab business is declining.
By 2016, says PBOT, the Portland based transport sector had provided 6.5 million journeys, most of them from Uber and Lyft. Over the past few years, the Portland municipality has put a cap on the inner cities' car parks to help alleviate traffic overload in the area. Uber and Lyft do not have to be parked to collect or return people.
"This has blown the cover off and it's likely to lead to jams," says Joe Cortraight, a Portland economy man and executive of the City Observatory, a think Tank for city research and blog. It was not so obvious in the early observation and study of app-based driving services that they would have a major influence on transport, says Cortrecht.
" However, it is not Cortright's intention to shift too much responsibility for the overload here onto Uber and Lyft without further action. On the one hand, many privately owned chauffeurs are spending hours circulating and trying to find a place to put them, and over- and lyft-drivers, and cabis, don't have to do that. Research shows that Uber and Lyft chauffeurs devote more of their working hours to travelling without passenger traffic than cabmen who are more susceptible to having to stop at special places awaiting check-in.
Research has shown that 20 to 50 per cent of the distance travelled by Uber, Lyft and other riders is idle. Originally, Novick and some conservationists thought that Uber and Lyft could cut the overall journey by making the so-called "last mile" available in combination with local transport. It' s the concept that folks would rent a Uber or Lyft to come to or from a MAX stop, for example, which makes it easy to use the through.
"There is no conclusive proof that this is a complement to transit," says Cortrecht. Last year's most extensive survey, published by the University of California at the Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, interviewed 5,000 passengers in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The scientists found that Uber, Lyft and similar services cut bus use by 6 per cent and suburban trains by 3 per cent.
In recent years TriMet has lost passenger numbers and "one of the issues we have is that they have a big influence on us," says Roberta Altstadt, the Transport Authority's Commissioner for Information. However, logical thinking would suggest that some of these Uber and Lyft drivers would use transits if they did not have these services, says Altstadt.
UC Davis' poll showed that without app-based driving services, 49 to 61 per cent of journeys would have been made by bike, walking or through. Walker says that he now uses Uber or Lyft as back-ups when he comes too late to take a coach. Others may sleep and miss the coach or be prevented by rain or freezing temperatures from going to a coach or MAX stop and taking Uber or Lyft instead.
Also, when road overload increases, busses travel more slowly, making them less covetous. Über and Lyft announce their roles in alcohol reduction, and this is difficult to deny here as they were represented at the Portland Old Town/Chinatown clubs last Saturday evening. Two of the most frequently mentioned causes of using driver services are the avoidance of park noise and charges and the avoidance of drink at the wheel, found the UC Davis survey.
Over and Lyft have also lessened the need for some to own a vehicle, although the UC Davis poll found no significant uptrend. By dropping off automobiles, humans are more likely to make more use of transits, says Cortrecht. The UC Davis poll showed, however, that Uber and Lyft have lowered the need for carpooling services such as Zipcar, ReachNow and car2go.
Transport specialists say that one way to alleviate traffic jams from Uber and Lyft is to expand their ride-sharing services, where they carry several people in the same area. Oregon Environmental Council transport expert Chris Hagerbaumer says Uber and Lyft could get more participants for joint trips if they lowered it.
About and Lyft refused to interview for this tale. At Lyft, a number of discussion points were sent, one of which stated that more than one third of customers in "markets such as Portland" are for joint journeys. Chou, the Uber region's senior executive director, said to the city council last week that the corporation wanted to enhance its roll in operating the Last-Mile feature.
Over and Lyft are partnering with TriMet to extend its Trip Planner application to enable the provision of app-based driving and parking services, says Altstadt. Uber and Lyft will probably switch to unmanned vehicles in the not too far off future, which could further disturb the transport system.
According to Contright, the mean costs of operating an Uber car are now about $1 per kilometer, which includes the driver's own expenses for the car. "To seriously tackle street overload, analysts say the cities must determine strategic pricing for the use of open roads and car parks to relocate commute.
"He says there were traffic jams before he got over." "Traffic jams will come until we begin to calculate the street area properly. According to a poll of 5,000 passengers in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.: n 21% of adult consumers use Apple Aided Ride services; another 9% use them with boyfriends. n 24% of consumers use Uber, Lyft or similar services every day or week. n 37% of consumers say that the greatest attraction is to prevent parkouts. n 33% say their main purpose is to prevent drivers from riding when they drink.
In 49% to 61% of journeys, the traveller would otherwise have remained on foot, by bicycle, by bicycle, by car or at home. n 20% to 50% of the mileage travelled by Uber, Lyft and similar riders is accounted for by passenger. n App-based driving services have raised overall mileage by 7% since 2015 in Manhattan, West Queens and Brooklyn, which is sufficient to cause a "significant increase in road traffic congestion. n App-based driving services have raised the overall mileage since 2015 in Manhattan, West Queens and West Brooklyn.
"n "n A San Francisco poll showed that only 7% of those using App-assisted Ride services would have drove a private or rented vehicle if the services were not available; 43% would have used transits, on foot or by bicycle.
A Denver poll of Uber drivers found that 31% would have drove a private or rented automobile if there were no app-based driver services; 28% would have used transits or cooled with carpets. n Driverless cars could help alleviate traffic jams and lack of space, but the combined effect of lower tariffs and quicker journeys could discourage drivers from transiting and "eliminate the advantages of traffic jams.