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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 12, 2018

Estimating the Impact of Ride-Hailing App Company Entry on Public Transportation Use in Major US Urban Areas

Erik Nelson ORCID logo and Nicole Sadowsky


Since 2011, the private ride-hailing (RH) app companies Uber and Lyft have expanded into more and more US urban areas. We use a dynamic entry event study to examine the impact of Uber and Lyft’s entry on public transportation (PT) use in the United States’ largest urban areas. In most cases, entry into urban areas was staggered: Uber entered first, followed several months later by Lyft. We generally find that PT use increased in the representative urban area, all else equal, immediately following first RH app company entry. However, this spike in PT use largely disappeared following the entry of the second RH app company. Slightly different RH app company–PT use relationships emerge when we estimate the PT use model over various subsets of urban areas and PT modes.

JEL Classification: C21; D22; D43; H41; R40


The authors thank the participants of the 2017 Northeast Workshop on Energy Policy and Environmental Economics for their feedback on an earlier version of this manuscript.

  1. Competing Interests: The authors have no competing interests to declare.


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Published Online: 2018-12-12

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