Overview of ride-hailing services in the U.S.

Uber and Lyft lead U.S. ride-hailing companies to support new mobility trends



Screenshots of the Uber application. Source: Uber

 The emergence of ride-hailing services began with the founding of Uber in 2009. Since then, the benefits provided by ride-hailing services through its use of a shared economy has led to its rapid growth, with two primary ride-hailing companies emerging in the U.S. in Uber and Lyft. The growth of ride-hailing services is highlighted by Uber’s peak valuation of approximately USD 68 billion in 2016, surpassing automakers including GM, Ford and Honda. Despite their growth, most ride-hailing companies, including Uber and Lyft, struggle to earn a profit.

 Beyond the rapid development of Uber and Lyft, ride-hailing services have had significant societal impacts. The convenience and accessibility of ride-hailing services provides access to transportation for those without traditional access to private vehicles. The increased mobility also leads to benefits such as increased local spending and government revenue. However, the increased popularity of ride-hailing has also created drawbacks, as its emergence is a significant factor in the decline of taxis and car rentals. Furthermore, studies suggest that the increased use of ride-hailing will increase congestion.

 This report provides an overview of ride-hailing services in the U.S. and their impact. It explains how ride-hailing services operate on an individual level, describes their distinctive features, provides brief summaries of the two major ride-hailing companies in the U.S., and shows the impact that the services have had thus far.


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