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The utilisation and user characteristics of Uber services in London

Mohamed, M. J.; Rye, T.; Fonzone, A.


T. Rye


Ridesourcing services such as Uber are nowadays a common feature within available transport options of many cities around the world (E.g. London & San Francisco). There has been much publicity about the potential impacts of ridesourcing services and how (or if) they should be managed or regulated without an objective understanding of who uses these services and why, as well as its current and future implications for public transport (PT).

Ridesourcing is part of a broader tech-driven, mobile app-based sharing phenomenon – the ‘sharing economy’ – which has disrupted traditional market models and industries, for example, the transport industry, where new players such as Uber have emerged and have quickly become part of the urban transport landscape. Uber has been at the forefront in disrupting the transport sector since its first launch in 2010 (San Francisco, USA). Since its launch, Uber has generated extensive media coverage and debate among policymakers, transport planners and transport authorities on how these services are affecting traditional transport modes such as buses and taxis. However, without objective empirical data – in terms of impacts on trip making characteristics, PT ridership and congestion – policymakers and transport regulators are yet to fully understand the real impacts ridesourcing services are having on the transport network.

This paper is part of broader research that aims to provide insights and empirical-based evidence on how Uber services are used (UberX and Uberpool) in London. A comprehensive survey was undertaken using a detailed questionnaire, issued to UberX and Uberpool users in London to gather detailed data on who uses the Uber services, why they use it and what are the trip purposes, in order to understand Uber user demographics and what effects (if any) Uber services are having on PT usage and trip making characteristics in London. The final findings provide important insights on Uber user demographics, trip purposes, types of trips replaced, impact on car ownership and why travellers use Uber services.


Mohamed, M. J., Rye, T., & Fonzone, A. (2020). The utilisation and user characteristics of Uber services in London. Transportation Planning and Technology, 43(4), 424-441.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Mar 29, 2020
Publication Date Mar 29, 2020
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2020
Journal Transportation Planning and Technology
Print ISSN 0308-1060
Electronic ISSN 1029-0354
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 4
Pages 424-441
Keywords Ridesourcing, ride-sharing, ride-hailing, Uber, Uberpool, Disruptive mobility and transportation network company (TNC)
Public URL