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Lyft Is Reaching L.A. Neighborhoods Where Taxis Wouldn’t

Discussion in 'News' started by jocker12, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. jocker12

    jocker12

    Location:
    Washington
    In the eight short years since the first “UberCab” pick-up in San Francisco, ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have upturned old transportation networks and created unprecedented demand for travel.

    But have their benefits extended to communities long left behind by the taxi industry, and that need car services most? For decades, racial discrimination by cab drivers has left black riders, in particular, waiting longer for pick-ups, having their destinations refused, and flat-out ignored, studies show; a 2013 investigation in Washington, D.C., found taxis were 25 percent less likely to pick up a black rider than a white rider. This plays out on a spatial level—outer-urban neighborhoods that are predominantly home to people of color are often “redlined” by taxi companies, for various reasons. Earlier research has shown some of the same practices persist in the new apps.

    But a dissertation from UCLA’s Institute for Transportation Studies paints a more promising portrait of access to Lyft in Los Angeles County. Contrary to the belief that ride-hailing primarily serves the affluent, it appears neighborhoods with low rates of car ownerhsip—which tend to be populated by people of color—actually see more pick-ups and drop-offs than others. But on the individual level, bias against certain passengers still persists.

    Alongside a team of graduate researchers, Anne E. Brown (who received her Ph.D. from UCLA this year) analyzed trip-level records from more than 6.3 million Lyft journeys made within L.A. County in the fall of 2016. Previously unavailable to scholars or policymakers, this data was carefully negotiated upon with Lyft.

    The most basic finding is striking: Virtually no neighborhood in the country’s most densely populated urban area has been left unpenetrated by Lyft. The company’s drivers serve 99.8 percent of the population of L.A. County. That in itself suggests that communities aren’t being systematically excluded.

    Earlier studies have found that Uber and Lyft riders tend to be on the higher-end of the income spectrum. Brown found that Lyft riders are indeed disproportionately concentrated in wealthier neighborhoods, all else being equal. But she also found that users living in low-income areas made more Lyft trips per person, compared to middle- and high-income communities.

    Why was that? The most important factor explaining how often someone used Lyft wasn’t income—it was whether they owned a personal vehicle. On the neighborhood level, Brown found that every 10 percent increase in the portion of households without a car was linked to a 7 percent increase in the number of Lyft trips an individual rider there made.

    [​IMG]

    When car ownership is held constant, more affluent folks ride Lyft appear to more often. When it’s not, lower-income riders take Lyft the most. (Brown/UCLA)
    The figure above puts it another way: When the local vehicle ownership rate is held constant (darker bars), wealthier groups appear to ride more often. But when it’s not (lighter bars), lower-income people clearly ride the most.

    So Lyft does appear to be providing vehicle access to areas “where its substitute—the household car—is least available,” Brown wrote. “Users living in low-income neighborhoods ... may have low—or zero—personal car access and therefore use Lyft to provide rather than supplement auto-mobility.”

    That’s is a score for equity, given that 80 percent of car-free households in the U.S. point to financial constraints, not any personal choice, as the reason. That low car-ownership neighborhoods are getting this much Lyft service is doubly encouraging because, as Brown found, majority-black neighborhoods have the highest share of zero-car households in Los Angeles, compared to any other racial group. Many of these communities were previously underserved by taxi companies. Trips from majority-black neighborhoods were also more likely to be shared rides through the company’s Lyft Line carpool option; fascinatingly, Brown discovered that mixed-race neighborhoods saw fewer shared rides.

    Majority black neighborhoods in L.A. County tend to see higher Lyft trips per capita.

    [​IMG]

    Ride-hailing also appears to be reducing the pernicious effects of discrimination at the passenger level. In addition to analyzing the Lyft data, Brown and her colleagues conducted an audit of Lyft, Uber, and taxi rides. Field researchers requested and rode vehicles to gather observations about how drivers responded to requests by riders of different races.

    Brown discovered the experience of “hailing while black” is about as bad as it’s always been in the yellow cab industry. Black passengers waited for taxi rides 52 percent longer (between about 6 and 15 minutes) than white riders. But the disparity in wait times was much reduced on Uber and Lyft, with black riders waiting between 11 seconds and 1 minute, 43 seconds longer than white riders. No meaningful differences among white, Asian, and Hispanic riders were observed.

    These findings contrast with earlier studies in Boston and Seattle, which found black ride-hailing riders wait longer and get canceled more often than white riders. Brown’s research used a different methodology and focused on a different city; it wouldn’t be right to extrapolate her findings beyond Los Angeles without a comparable audit in other places. Furthermore, for the first part of the analysis, the data she used came from Lyft alone and represented only a limited period of time. The findings might not be generalizable to the ride-hailing industry in general.
    On the other hand, this is also one of the first studies (if not the first, outside of New York City) to make use of an otherwise proprietary dataset containing a full population of ride-hailing trips. Other studies have had to rely on surveys or ad-hoc data-scraping methods. So these findings are significant.

    They are also a feather in the caps of both Lyft and Uber; the oft-embattled companies have been making efforts to stress their social value in the face of growing evidence to the contrary. Ride-hailing, studies show, has been putting more cars to the road, increasing vehicle-miles traveled in cities, and likely adding—not diminishing, as once promised—greenhouse gas emissions. Lately, both companies have recalibrated their messaging: Now, they say, they’re all about reducing the need for personal car ownership. For those who can’t own vehicles due to financial limitations, research like this suggests that ride-hailing is indeed a lifeline.

    But it doesn’t address a much bigger question: Can Uber and Lyft serve, systematically, as chosen substitutes for the personal car, still among the most revered class symbols in American society? The answer to that one lies further down the road.

    https://www.citylab.com/transportat...-la-neighborhoods-where-taxis-wouldnt/563810/
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
    LADriver likes this.
  2. SLuz

    SLuz

    Location:
    LA
    Great find, as this article uses more data than the UCLA studies paltry 18 student study.
     
  3. jocker12

    jocker12

    Location:
    Washington
    I know. That story is full of childish inaccuracies.
     
  4. dirtylee

    dirtylee

    Location:
    Dallas
    Driving:
    UberX
    Blah blah blah,
    Drivers want to make money, 100% of the time.
    Drivers want safety 100% of the time.

    If the super rich 98% white neighborhoods give me a reasonable propagation of both, that is where I drive.

    These ******ed as **** doorknob researchers should really sign up & drive those "under served areas". I'm sure their PHD will save them from reality.
     
  5. jocker12

    jocker12

    Location:
    Washington
    You should READ the article. It says "Ride-hailing also appears to be reducing the pernicious effects of discrimination at the passenger level."
     
  6. Another Uber Driver

    Another Uber Driver Moderator

    Location:
    See avatar
    Driving:
    UberTAXI
    The residents of what are called "underserved areas" in the Capital of Your Nation make similar statements. Before the TNCs, you did have a group of radio cab drivers who preferred to work East of the Anacostia River, where most of the residents are African-American. I dispatched, for a time, for one cab company that did most of its business East of the Anacostia River. You had the demand, you simply did not have the drivers to cover it--and this was at CAB rates. Few drivers wanted to work there.

    Come UberX and Lyft, and suddenly, ANYONE can be a cab driver, even those who live East of the Anacostia River. It is no surprise that the drivers begin by working the neighbourhoods with which they are familiar. SUDDENLY, the residents of these "underserved" areas can get a ride far more quickly than they used to get one. The Harvard, Stanford, Yale or whoever-it-was study can caterwaul all that it will about how these residents wait three-or-whatever minutes longer than a resident of Well-Off-City, but, the resident of the "underserved" area STILL gets his ride far more quickly than he used to get it---IF he got it, at all.

    To be sure, you have people working these "underserved" areas other than those who live there. There are those who avoid them, but, there are those who figure that since the TNC has information about the passenger, he is far less likely to cause them any harm.

    I have had more than one UberX/Lyft customer who resides in an "underserved" area ask me why the cab drivers are complaining, especially when they learn that I drive a cab, as well as driving UberX/Lyft They will tell me that while they are sure that I would pick them up, they tell me that the cab drivers did not want them, they found someone who did, why are the cab drivers complaining? No one took anything or anyone from them that they wanted, only what they did not want anyhow. While I am not here to argue the complete accuracy of that statement/question (or lack thereof), it DOES apply to the person who made it, and those "similarly situated", at least.

    The TNCs may or may not be doing a "top job" of serving the "underserved" areas, but they are doing far better than did the radio cab companies.
     
    SibeRescueBrian and goneubering like this.
  7. Proof that this study is flawed and paid for by Lyft? I did over 6,000 rides for them, and not one of them was in a neighborhood with bars on their windows.

    FAKE NEWS
     
    TwoFiddyMile likes this.
  8. goneubering

    goneubering

    Location:
    LA/Orange Counties
    Driving:
    UberX
    What city or cities do you work?
     
  9. The less than minimum-wage ones.
     
  10. TwoFiddyMile

    TwoFiddyMile

    Location:
    charlotte
    Driving:
    Taxi
    Of course cab companies couldn't service Lancaster or Newhall. There are only a few thousand cabs. Its Tom Sawyer marketing which created all the ants.

    You know, lies.
     
    tohunt4me and phillipzx3 like this.
  11. goneubering

    goneubering

    Location:
    LA/Orange Counties
    Driving:
    UberX
    So you don’t really have proof of anything. Thx.
     

  12. Portland Oregon has ~ 1300 legal taxi's. The city has refused to issue more permits for the last 6 plus years. Uber comes to town and gets no caps. Uber says they won't give the city accurate numbers on how many drivers they have, claiming it's proprietary information. So the city compiled a number based on the TNC business permits filed. It/s over 10,000.

    Gee....I wonder how they are able to cover the area with "only" 10.000 plus drivers. :)

    If the cabs had 10,000 permits, there'd be no problem servicing everyone. But then they'd be like Uber making an average of less than 50 bucks a day. We know the earning are low because we hire ex-Uber drivers constantly.
     
  13. TwoFiddyMile

    TwoFiddyMile

    Location:
    charlotte
    Driving:
    Taxi
    Keep in mind Los Angeles is 550 square miles. Ain't no way in hell 2000+ cabs can service that properly with that kind of permit cap.
    The old recipie was 1 to 2 cabs per thousand residents I think in most municipalities. Dunno what the current population of L.A. county is right now.
    In any case it's too big for cabs to service as one municipality with only a few thousand cabs.

    About 4 million people. So to even begin to meet the needs of a population that big spread out over 550 squSqu miles you need between 4000 and 8000 cabs.
    Furthermore you would need a multi depot system which placed companies throughout the entire county.
    L.A. does this to some extent. But as always theres no money in the extreme ends of the county so no one sets up companies there.
     
    tohunt4me and observer like this.
  14. Heres to Underserved Neighborhoods.
     

    Attached Files:

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