New technologically driven, on-demand ridesourcing business models that provide low-cost alternative transport to car ownership and public transport – such as those provided by Uber and Lyft – are causing unprecedented disruption to the way urban mobility services are provided and used in cities around the world. Ridesourcing is part of the wider phenomenon of the ‘sharing economy’ that is making people re-think how they obtain services from different sectors such as the Transport (i.e. Uber) and Hotel (i.e. Airbnb) industries. New types of on-demand shared mobility services based on advanced ICTs (such as UberPOOL) are becoming popular in cities like London, UK. This has triggered debates among policymakers, transport planners and transport authorities; however, the impacts and consequences of these services on conventional public transport are still not well understood.
This research aims to provide insights into whether transport authorities and operators in London (UK) fully understand the impact of Uber services and more specifically UberPOOL. It presents empirical evidence on the effects, challenges and opportunities resulting from UberPOOL operations. We draw a picture of the situation from a comprehensive set of interviews with 31 different policymakers, experts, researchers and operators, complemented by feedback from 3 focus group sessions involving 28 different Uber drivers from across London. The findings show that UberPOOL is popular with students, those making social trips and long-distance journeys. It further highlights the need to develop specific transport policy measures and regulations for ridesourcing services which take into account input from all relevant stakeholders (for example, service providers, transport operators, users and drivers), as transport authorities are still poorly equipped (for various reasons) to manage and regulate such disruptive services. These findings help to answer some key research questions and provide a broad understanding of ridesourcing (and more specifically UberPOOL) operations in London.
Jama Mohamed, M., Rye, T., & Fonzone, A. (2019). Operational and policy implications of ridesourcing services: a case of Uber in London, UK. Case Studies on Transport Policy, 7(4), 823-836. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cstp.2019.07.013