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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Impacts of Transportation Network Companies on Vehicle Miles Traveled, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Travel Behavior Analysis from the Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco Markets

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Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Lyft, Uber, and their global counterparts have expanded around the world over the past decade and have changed the way that people travel around cities and regions. The individual mobility benefits provided by TNCs have been clear. Passengers can summon a vehicle quickly via smartphone from almost anywhere to take them almost anywhere, with advance communication on estimated wait time, travel time, and cost. TNCs may also provide users with added mobility benefits, especially for those living in areas where public transit service is infrequent or non-existent. However, the growing popularity of TNCs has forced important questions about their impacts on the overall transportation network. While past research has focused on many different aspects of TNC impacts, including their effects on travel behavior, modal shift, congestion, and other topics, there are still many important questions. This report advances the understanding of TNC effects on vehicle miles traveled (VMT), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and personal vehicle ownership. The research also explores key questions regarding the impact of pooled TNC services, Lyft Shared rides and uberPOOL, and further investigates how TNCs alter the use of other transportation modes, including public transit.

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