The Christian Science Monitor

Are your Uber and Lyft accounts worsening traffic?

In bumper-to-bumper traffic leaving Boston on Thursday evening, full-time Lyft driver Fabio says he timed the drive perfectly.

“Traffic is awesome,” says Fabio, who preferred to not give his last name, motioning to the gridlock around him in the Ted Williams Tunnel. “Rush hour is great.”

That sentiment stands in sharp contrast to promises made by founders of ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Studies suggest these companies may actually be putting more vehicles on the road by shifting riders away from less energy-intensive forms of transportation – even enticing them to make trips they otherwise wouldn’t have made at all.

To truly become part of the solution, observers say, these companies need to revamp their business models to function

The myth and the realityShould cities add their own surge pricing?What about pooling options?Better public transit?

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