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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Where Ridehail Drivers Go Between Trips: Trading off Congestion and Curb Availability?

  • Author(s): Millard-Ball, Adam
  • Liu, Liwei
  • Hansen, Whitney
  • Cooper, Drew
  • Castiglione, Joe
  • et al.

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We analyze what ridehail drivers do when out of service between paid trips. We use a dataset of 5.3 million trips in San Francisco and partition each out of service trip into cruising, repositioning, and parking segments. We find that repositioning accounts for nearly two-thirds (63%) of the time between trips, with cruising and parking accounting for 23% and 14% respectively (these figures exclude short trips). Our regression models suggest that drivers tend to make reasonable choices between repositioning and parking, heading to high-demand locations based on the time of day. However, we also find suggestive evidence of racial bias, supporting previous studies of both taxis and ridehailing that indicate that drivers tend to avoid neighborhoods with high proportions of residents of color.

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