Does Lyft Alleviate City Traffic? Looking at the VMT Efficiency Metric
The final data set is period 3, the passenger’s ride to his or her destination. Though seemingly straightforward, the trip length as reported by Lyft is affected by the inclusion of Lyft Line rides. Lyft Line is available in most markets and enables parties of one or two to save money by adding another party to their trip when the trip routes overlap. It is important to understand that the period 3 mileage for a Lyft Line trip is recorded from the beginning of the first Lyft Line passenger until the end of the last passenger. The impact of this nuance occurs on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum, if the passengers overlap for only a couple blocks out of several miles, the efficiency derived from the data is fairly accurate. On the other hand, if the passengers overlap for all but a few blocks, then the efficiency is nearly double what the data would suggest because tha...