The impact of Uber and Lyft on vehicle ownership, fuel economy, and transit across U.S. cities

We estimate the effects of transportation network companies (TNCs) Uber and Lyft on vehicle ownership, fleet average fuel economy, and transit use in U.S. urban areas using a set of difference-in-difference propensity score-weighted regression models that exploit staggered market entry across the U.S. from 2011 to 2017. We find evidence that TNC entry into urban areas causes an average 0.7% increase in vehicle registrations with significant heterogeneity in these effects across urban areas: TNC entry produces larger vehicle ownership increases in urban areas with higher initial ownership (car-dependent cities) and in urban areas with lower population growth (where TNC-induced vehicle adoption outpaces population growth). We also find no statistically significant average effect of TNC entry on fuel economy or transit use but find evidence of heterogeneity in these effects across urban areas, including larger transit ridership reductions after TNC entry in areas with higher income and more childless households.

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