Is ride-hailing competing or complementing public transport? A perspective from affordability

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour, technology - passenger information, planning - surveys


Ride-hailing substitution, Public transit, Smart mobility, Small and big data integration, Economic affordability


To formulate policies for low-carbon transport development, previous studies largely focus on estimating the substitution effect of ride-hailing travel on public transport, but how transit-dependent people turn to use ride-hailing has not been answered. This study integrates small data (questionnaire) and big data (ride-hailing orders) to estimate how many ride-hailing trips could have been made via public transport from a perspective of affordability. The findings indicate that ride-hailing is competing with meanwhile complementing public transit, but for different purposes and target populations. Results show that 38% of ride-hailing trips can be potentially travelled via public transit at an overall level. But for commuting purpose, the proportion increased to 80%. For entertainment travel purposes, low-income families who could not afford private cars in the past, use ride-hailing as a flexible travel alternative, like what has been enjoyed by higher-income families.


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


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