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Unsustainable? What the Growth in App-Based Ride Services Means for Our Cities

New mobility services—from Uber and Lyft to Via and Gett—are rapidly reshaping transportation networks, transporting 2.6 billion passengers last year in cities across the U.S., and nearly eclipsing total local bus ridership. The impacts of these new services are huge—both in terms of increased strain on cities’ streets, as well as the mobility opportunities that these new services offer to communities with poorly-connected walking, biking, and transit networks.

In NYC, new legislation aligns the number of forhire vehicles with passenger demand and city goals —for the first time, regulating the total number of for-hire vehicles on city streets. In Chicago, strategic pricing models, and new thinking around managing vehicles near major events, means better demand management in high-traffic areas, as well as support for the city’s robust transit system. And in cities across the country, new mobility services have the potential to add to our understanding of city streets with data sharing partnerships, and as a complement to high-frequency, reliable transit service.

Unsustainable? It’s complicated. With forwardthinking policies, cities and transit agencies have the potential to utilize the benefits of TNCs, and mitigate unsustainable impacts. Hear how.