With New York City leading the charge in restricting ride-hailing activity in its borders, industry giants like Uber and Lyft are seeking new means of integrating their services with the transportation systems of cities. In response to concerns regarding over-congestion in urban centers and the declining ridership rates on public transport lines, a 2018 study by the Federation of American Scientists finds evidence of a 3% decline between 2014 and 2017, while ride-hailing popularity has sky rocketed from 2012, now accounting for some 15% of the US public. As a result, these companies are striving to respond to the criticisms by working together with cities.

Some two dozen cities across the US have instituted or trialed systems whereby area residents may utilize ride-hailing, carpooling, and taxi services in conjunction with their public transport systems. While these programs run the gamut from subsidized rides, such as those offered by Lyft to residents of Marin County, California in a 2017 program, and fixed prices for connections between transit hubs and homes, such as Tampa, Florida’s HyperLINK in 2016, to those intended to alleviate parking shortages such as the subsidized Uber rides offered in Bend, Oregon.
Many of these programs have struggled to find a means of continuing the services due to their high cost, but the benefits have begun to become clear, as suggested by a DePaul University study conducted this year. The DePaul study confirmed the strength of the concept behind many of these programs, ride-hailing and taxi services provide the greatest benefit in connector traffic between areas with poor public transit coverage and transit hubs, allowing residents to forgo use of a private car on the last mile.

Additionally, Uber has begun to explore new additions to its base fleet of cars, capitalizing on its acquisition of bike-share company Jump with plans to add bikes to its app. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has suggested that the app may, in the future, prioritize bike-share alternatives for users seeking solutions for short distances, particularly in congested urban environments. Bridging these two strategies, Uber has also won a bid from the City of Santa Monica to supply the scooters for its pilot city scooter program.

New York City institutes new limits on ride-hailing activity (Wired

Growing evidence suggests ride-hailing undermines public transport, read an overview (Green Biz

Cities and ride-hailing companies find new forms of partnership (Future Structure

Uber considers moving beyond mere ride-hailing (CNet

Uber and the City of Santa Monica plan city scooter program (CNet)

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