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Cities rethink parking as ride-hailing grows and parking revenue declines

Uber and Lyft are shifting parking demand in major US cities, and researchers believe it's a good thing

Source: University of Colorado Denver

A new study found that people who use ride-hailing are willing to pay more to avoid driving, including the stress and cost of parking. As a result, cities are seeing a reduction in parking demand, particularly at restaurants and bars, event venues, and airports.

That reduction could push cities to reconsider and replace parking infrastructure, leading to more vibrant cities and less dependency on cars.

  • Logging hundreds of rides and gathering 311 surveys from his passengers, researchers collected a "driver dataset," containing the GPS tracking of date, time of day, travel times, and travel distance of the rides; and a "passenger dataset," containing information gathered by surveying his passengers during the ride about car ownership, reason for travel and if parking was a reason for leaving their cars at home.

  • By combining the ethnographic research with interviews and the technology-based data, researchers were able to assess the shift in parking demand and how much of that was contributed to parking stress.

Results suggest that 26.4 percent of Uber/Lyft riders would have driven and needed a parking space if the ride-hailing services did not exist
  • While the same service replaced more sustainable forms of transportation by a third, a third of respondents stated that they are driving less when asked about general travel behavior. Parking stress was the second most cited reason for ordering a car, even if researchers found that the relative time and cost of parking was negligible compared to the cost of their ride.


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