Pew: Uber Users Less Likely to Own a Car

Here at Uber, we think a lot about how we can improve cities by making it easier to get where you need to go. A big part of that is reducing congestion on the streets and increasing the ways people get around, whether it’s walking, biking, public transit, Uber — or in most cases, a mix of all of these. And when people have more alternatives to owning a vehicle, we believe they’re more likely to hand in the keys and give up car ownership entirely.

Today the Pew Research Center released a report that surveyed thousands of Americans about their usage and attitudes toward on-demand digital services, including ride-hailing apps like Uber. Here are some highlights from Pew’s study, which confirms a similar March report by the the American Public Transportation Association.

The more people use ride-hailing apps like Uber, the less likely they are to own a car.

Of the people who use ride-hailing apps frequently — at least daily or weekly — only 64% own a personal vehicle. That’s compared to 78% of people who don’t use ride-hailing apps.

People aren’t just using ride-hailing apps instead of — or in addition to — driving their own car; they are relying heavily on a wide range of transportation options that go well beyond ride-sharing. They are more likely to take public transportation, walk or ride a bike, and take traditional taxis, compared to people who don’t use ride-hailing apps at all.

Source: Pew Research Center

No one transportation option can singlehandedly solve the mobility challenges facing our growing cities. Instead, the future of mobility lies in the diversity of — and interplay between — the transportation options available. Uber and other ride-sharing services are just one piece of the puzzle: by providing a reliable, safe, convenient way to get from A to B, no matter where you are going and when, we can start to reduce our reliance on private cars.

Ride-hailing services provide access to underserved communities.

Half of the ride-hailing users surveyed agree that these services provide access to neighborhoods that taxis won’t visit — and 54% agree that these services are a good option for people who have trouble hailing cabs. This phenomenon has been observed by Ben Jealous in his op-ed, “Hailing a Cab While Black? It’s Still a Problem.” In fact, over half of Uber trips taken in Chicago begin or end in underserved areas. And nearly a third of trips in New York City are to, from, or within the outer boroughs — compared to just 10% of yellow cab trips.

Today’s research shows that having access to a service like Uber helps reduce reliance on private car ownership. We will continue to explore innovative solutions that help make that a reality — such as our partnership with the Parkmerced housing development; getting more people in fewer cars with technology like uberPOOL; and continuing to grow our coverage into suburban and exurban areas, like the metropolitan area around Los Angeles — a city lauded as the epicenter of America’s car culture.

The road to making our cities less congested, less polluted, and less dependent on cars is a long one — but between the expanding suite of transportation options, innovative land use, and the personal choices each of us can make — we’re well on our way.

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