New publication on ridesourcing safety externalities

Crashes and ridesourcing trip rates before and after the entry of RideAustin in Travis County, TX (Kontou and McDonald, 2021).

Dr. Kontou’s paper with Prof. Noreen McDonald from the Department of City and Regional Planning of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is now accepted at PLOS ONE. Their paper answers the question “is ridesourcing related to road crashes, injuries, and DUI offenses?” providing insights from Travis county, Texas. They find that increases in ridesourcing trips (Uber and Lyft-like services) were not associated with worsening road safety. While studying the operations of RideAustin, Profs. Kontou and McDonald uncovered that for every 10% increase in ridesourcing trips, there was an expected 0.12% decrease in road crashes, a 0.25% decrease in road injuries, and a 0.36% decrease in driving while impaired offenses in Travis County. The magnitude of road safety improvement is smaller compared to the expected safety effectiveness of other interventions, such as seatbelt laws, reduced speeds, and traffic calming design. The paper can also be found in arxiv.