Should Governments Subsidize Uber and Lyft Connections to Transit?

According to a new report from the Center for American Progress, technology network companies like Uber and Lyft offer a unique opportunity for low-income users to connect with transit routes and on to greater economic opportunities.

May 5, 2016, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Lyft

Alfredo Mendez / Flickr

Kevin DeGood, director of infrastructure policy at the Center for American Progress, and Andrew Schwartz, research associate on economic policy at the Center, have written a report exploring the potential of transportation network companies (TNCs) to provide social equity with access to mobility and all the opportunities that entails.

After establishing distance as the greatest barrier to access, DeGood and Schwartz note that TNCs "offer transit agencies the opportunity to experiment with different ways to overcome the last-mile barriers to connect people with the public transit system." The report that follows builds a case to subsidize the use of TNCs like Uber and Lyft for low-income users.

Historically, transit agencies have been unable to address these geographic gaps—especially because extending traditional fixed-route service into neighborhoods is cost prohibitive. Companies such as Uber and Lyft offer transit agencies a way to bridge last-mile gaps efficiently, allowing eligible residents to connect affordably to the public system.

The article describes the unique ability of the Technology platforms of TNCs to make subsidized connections to transit a reality before considering the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in the Atlanta region as a theoretical test case.

Angie Schmitt also picked up on the news of the report for Streetsblog USA. Schmitt concludes that it's "interesting to see some analysis of how ride-hail-to-transit subsidies for commuters might work, [but] it’s still hard to discern a concrete benefit compared to plain old bus and train service."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 in Center for American Progress

Indian Trail, North Carolina

Four ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Zoning Reforms

An excerpt from the latest book on zoning argues for four approaches to reform that can immediately improve land use regulation in the United States.

June 26, 2022 - M. Nolan Gray

View south along Interstate 45 (North Freeway) from the ramp between westbound Interstate 10 and southbound Interstate 45 in Houston, Harris County, Texas

Houston Apartments To Be Demolished for Freeway Widening

Despite a federal hold on the controversial freeway widening project, the Texas Department of Transportation is pushing ahead with the demolition of an apartment complex in downtown Houston.

July 5, 2022 - Houston Chronicle

Car Traffic

San Francisco Just Ended Single-Family Zoning

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to Tuesday to eliminate single-family zoning, but pro-development advocates say additional changes are needed to unleash a wave of construction.

June 29, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

Bakersfield and Fresno Sign

California Budget Includes $4.2 Billion for High-Speed Rail

The recently approved state budget directs $4.2 billion in bond funding to the Bakersfield-to-Merced leg of California’s long-awaited high-speed rail project.

3 hours ago - Sfist

Joe Biden exits a limousine, surrounded by security and staffers, on the way to the Marine One helicopter on a pad near the water in New York City.

Biden’s Environmental Legacy (So Far)

President Biden campaigned on promises to restore many of the environmental regulations rolled back by the previous administration, while promising new efforts to tackle environmental injustice and climate change.

4 hours ago - The Washington Post

Police officer with POLICE on the back of their vest with police car in the background

Help! Not Police! Crisis Responses That Avert Police Calls

Cities, court systems, citizen groups, and affordable housing operators are crafting ways of responding to emergencies that reduce the risk of negative police interactions.

5 hours ago - Shelterforce Magazine

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

International Real Estate Strategies and Deal Negotiation

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Affordable Housing: Principles for Changing Domestic and Global Markets

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.