Among the many heated debates around on-demand ride-hailing services like Uber is whether they act as an antidote to the longstanding patterns of red-lining in the traditional taxi industry.
According to one Uber-funded study released today, they do.
Research group Botec Analysis found that summoning an UberX, the company’s budget tier, took less than half as long as calling for a taxi in several low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles. What’s more, the trips themselves cost less than half as much. Calling for an UberX was more reliable and wait times were shorter, according to the study.
“The answer was clear-cut, and consistent across neighborhoods and days,” writes study co-author Mark Kleiman.
To gather data, pairs of riders called for a taxi and an Uber along pre-planned routes. The riders recorded the time between picking up the phone or opening an app and getting in a car. They also tracked how much each ride cost, then switched off. After each ride, whoever took a taxi last time took an Uber next time.
Read the rest via Uber Cheaper, Faster Than Taxis in Low-Income Neighborhoods | WIRED.