Setting Transportation Network Company (TNC) Policies to Increase Sustainability

Transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, have seen tremendous growth in popularity and use over the past three years, more than doubling from 15 to 36% of Americans (Pew). TNCs’ success can be linked to many factors, including ease of use and increased predictability and availability over taxi service. TNCs can also contribute to decreased transit usage, increased congestion, and increased emissions in certain markets. They are often blamed for causing these harms in markets where it’s not yet clear they are the main cause. As a result of these real or assumed impacts, a total of 19 cities and states have already implemented some regulations on TNCs, with many more implementing taxes and fees. The objective of these pricing policies include raising revenue as well as reducing congestion and emissions. However, it remains unclear whether existing TNC pricing policies will succeed in achieving these objectives.

This project will evaluate and contrast TNC policy alternatives, such as taxes that provide incentives for both pooling and electrification and comprehensive road pricing targeting personal vehicle travel. Researchers will provide a framework for designing better structured policies for incentivizing behavior that enables governments to meet their congestion and emissions objectives.


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