21 May 2019

Wages of Law Breaking

I am referring to Uber and Lyft, whose generally unlawful activiteis are billed as "innovative disruption".

Well, experts at  San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the University of Kentucky, have studied their effect, and the it's absolutely the opposite of what the hack taxicab companies have claimed:
Uber and Lyft accounted for two-thirds of a 62% rise in congestion in San Francisco over six years, according to a report published on the day of a coordinated protest by drivers.

The figures “are eye-popping,” said Joe Castiglione, deputy director for technology, data and analysis at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. He co-authored the study with researchers from the University of Kentucky.

It shows that hours of vehicle delays increased by 62% throughout the city from 2010 to 2016, the period when ride-hailing services began proliferating on the streets. Traffic models that exclude Uber and Lyft cars show that hours of delay would have gone up 22% in their absence.

Extrapolating from those numbers, the study’s authors concluded that on-demand ride services — or transportation network companies, as they’re known in academic patois — are clogging roads and siphoning people from mass transit, going against the companies’ stated mission to wean people off of private cars. The authors laid out their findings in the scholarly journal Science Advances, providing fodder for policymakers seeking to regulate these companies.


A similar study that the Transportation Authority published last year looked more broadly at swelling traffic from 2010 to 2016, and found that transportation network companies comprised about half of it, with the other half stemming from job and population growth. Wednesday’s study narrowly measured the correlation between ride-hailing services and increased congestion.
Since I am inclined to state the obvious, this result was predicted over 80 years ago, which was one of the reasons why New York instituted taxi medallions 1937.

This is not disruptive innovation, it's just a twist on a very old scam, and the founders have gotten very rich using other people's money.


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