Studies suggest Uber, Lyft cause traffic congestion

DENVER -- More studies are suggesting companies such as Uber and Lyft are a big part of big city traffic jams.

City streets are becoming more crowded as ride-hailing companies continue to lure people away from using public transportation.

“The congestion is terrible [in Denver],” a commuter said.

“I try my best to avoid it,” another said.

There are dozens of factors that contribute to longer commutes, but recent studies point to more Uber and Lyft vehicles.

The convenience offered by those companies is something public transportation options can’t seem to match.

Surveys of 944 people in Boston in 2017 found nearly 6 in 10 people would opt for a bus, train or bicycle if ride-hailing applications were never around, according to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston.

Another survey, from the University of California Davis, suggested 49 percent to 61 percent of these trips would not happen if public transit was the only option.

Lyft said it is committed to increasing occupancy in cars.

A Lyft beta feature, currently running in Chicago and San Francisco, simulates the idea of bus routes allowing people to carpool along a certain path in high demand.

A similar Uber feature called Express Pool just recently rolled out in the Denver metro area. These features aim to help lighten the burden of congestion.

A study from Inrix showed that from 2012 to 2015, the number of all cars -- including ride-share vehicles -- stayed the same or dropped a bit.

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