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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Influential Factors in the Formation of Partnerships Between Ridehail Companies and Public Transportation

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In response to the increasing presence of ridehail services, namely Uber and Lyft, a growing number of transit agencies have formed partnerships with these and other shared-use mobility companies to offer programs that integrate these services with traditional transit. The programs often start as pilots and typically involve subsidizing ridehail travel for passengers connecting to public transit routes or travelling at times that public transit offers limited or no service (such as late at night). However, the number of transit agencies forming these partnerships is still small, and transit agencies note concerns over liability and costs, as well as the ability to meet federal standards, and many worry partnerships may not be a good use of public resources. Transit agencies face a number of service challenges, and partnering with ridehail companies likely offers a piece of the puzzle to improving public transit. Future work should expand on this study and focus on the question of long-term funding. Even those partnerships that have had some apparent success may not have fail-safe funds to keep these partnerships, and other new models of service such as connecting with bikeshare or other on-demand services.

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