Do transportation network companies reduce public transit use in the U.S.?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - other, ridership - demand


Transportation network companies, TNC services, Public transit


The rise of transportation network companies (TNCs) in recent years has revolutionized urban transportation across the globe. Most noticeably, the increased popularity of TNC services coincides with the declining trend of public transit ridership in the U.S. The impact of TNCs on urban public transit needs to be carefully evaluated in light of the potential implications of any future policy changes in transit funding and planning. Using top 50 U.S. agency-level data from 2007 through 2017, this study examines the effect of TNCs and transit effectiveness on public transit ridership in the U.S. We find that (1) transit effectiveness of both bus and rail transits declined over the study period; (2) TNC availability increased rail transit ridership in 2015; (3) transit effectiveness was highly significant for public transit, and when examining its effect year-by-year, rail transit effectiveness trumped TNC availability; (4) TNCs are neither a complement nor a substitute of bus transit.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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