Ride-Hailing Report Examines Effects on Chicago's Congestion

A new report looks at how the increase of ride-hailing in Chicago is affecting infrastructure and mobility.

November 6, 2019, 8:00 AM PST

By Camille Fink

Chicago Street

Jeff Summers / Flickr

The city of Chicago has released a new report on ride-hailing trends and congestion impacts. "Between 2015 and 2018, the annual number of ride-hail trips in Chicago grew by 271 percent and the miles traveled by passengers increased by 344 percent. The study found that half of all trips citywide begin or end downtown, and nearly a third of those trips both start and end in the downtown area," reports Lynda Lopez.

The increase in vehicle miles is contributing to congestion, along with more roadway wear and tear and rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions, says Lopez. "The growing popularity of ride-hailing is also having a negative impact on public transportation. A 2018 CTA ridership survey indicated that 48 percent of ride-hailing customers would have taken the CTA if [transportation network providers] did not exist."

Lopez notes that the report’s findings point to policy recommendations that will lead to higher taxes on ride-hailing and encourage both shared trips and public transit use. "Higher fees are one step to ease the impact of ride-hailing on our streets, but ambitious proposals to boosting public transit ridership has to accompany them."

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