Ride Sharing Apps Are Contributing to Congestion in the City, New Report Finds

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Traffic in lower Manhattan

Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have doubled in use every year since 2013, and tripled last year, according to a new report by traffic expert Bruce Schaller.

In 2015 Schaller advised the city that these apps weren't responsible for increasing congestion.

Now, he said the data has proven otherwise, since there are an average of 500,000 rides a day.

"We're getting into a situation where the growth of the city is being absorbed by vehicles on the street and that's not a sustainable way to grow the city," he said. "The streets are already crowded with cars and trucks and buses and as traffic increases, obviously it slows down and will impede the economy. It raises costs and delays, it makes transit even less attractive if you're stuck on the bus, so you start a downward spiral that will not serve New York well."

Last year, subway ridership declined for the first time since 2009, and Schaller suggested ride-hailing apps may be siphoning off those riders.

He's urging the city to improve its public transit to draw riders back.