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In Las Vegas, Ridesharing and Transit Complement and Compete

A look at transportation trends in Las Vegas suggests a surprising relationship between ridesharing and transit.
October 5, 2018, 10am PDT | Camille Fink
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Tony Webster

Seth Contreras and Alexander Paz discuss the findings of their study on the effects of ridesharing in Las Vegas. They find that taxi ridership decreased by 15 percent between 2015 and 2016, while ridesharing steadily increased in 2016. However, they report that in 2016, transit ridership increased along with taxi ridership:

The increase is subtle, according to the model results, but it is there. If one were to then take it a step further, it's possible that as ride-hailing directly replaces taxis, transit ridership will take on a similar complementary relationship with ride-hailing.

Contreras and Paz say that these findings are important for cities trying to get a grasp on how ridesharing services influence public transit ridership. "It suggests that, at least in some cases, public transit agencies should embrace and integrate, rather than compete directly with, ride-hailing services," they say.

They point out that Las Vegas differs from other American cities in this regard. In New York and Washington, D.C., for example, transit ridership has decreased, and this could indicate travelers shifting to ridesharing.

However, these cities also have subway systems plagued with maintenance and operations issues. "Las Vegas, on the other hand, is a growing city, with lots of untapped potential for public transit. It could serve as a model for how developing cities can build an integrated (and fair) transport system before their human and vehicle populations explode."

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Published on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 in The City Fix
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