Report: Ride-Shares Increase San Francisco Congestion by 50 Percent - NBC Bay Area
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Report: Ride-Shares Increase San Francisco Congestion by 50 Percent

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    Ride-Shares Increase San Francisco Congestion by 50 Percent

    A country transportation found just over 50 percent of increased congestion on San Francisco streets in recent years is because of ride-sharing companies. While Uber and Lyft dispute the numbers, there's no denying the Financial District and South of Market rank among the list for the biggest bump in traffic. Sam Brock reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018)

    Uber and Lyft are making traffic in San Francisco a lot worse but it might not be entirely their fault.

    A new study by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority found that ride-share companies, or what transportation officials dubbed "Transportation Network Companies" (TNCs) caused 50 percent increase of traffic in the city from 2010 to 2016. 

    View TNCs & Congestion interactive map here.

    By measuring data collected by traffic analyst company INRIX from three categories, vehicle hours of delay, vehicle miles travelled, and average speeds, SFCTA concluded that San Francisco saw about 40,000 hours increase in delays, 630,000 miles in distance traveled and a 3.1 per hour decrease on average speeds.

    "It was pretty eye-popping when we had that finding, so we went over the data many time to make sure we weren't misrepresenting anything," said primary author of the study Joe Castiglione.

    SFCTA also found that the greatest decreases in speeds were in South of Market, Downtown, along the Embarcadero and the northeast quadrant.

    The increase in the number of TNCs aren't the only main reason for traffic congestion in the city, said SFCTA. It's also due to employment growth, population growth, new drivers and changes to the transportation system.

    Lyft responded to the report in a statement saying: "This report is flawed and an incomplete picture of the transit challenges San Francisco faces. Congestion is a complex issue, and Lyft is committed to being a part of the solution."

    The company argued that its shared rides service grew in San Francisco, and accounted for approximately 40 percent of all Lyft trips in 2017. It also cited an MIT study that said ride-sharing could reduce traffic congestion.

    For Uber, its spokesperson said the study "fails to consider critical factors like the spike in tourism or the growth of freight deliveries."

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