Transportation network company (TNC) usage is associated with decreased vehicle ownership and fewer single occupancy vehicle trips.

A research report on shared-use mobility.

San Francisco; California; United States; Chicago; Illinois; United States; Los Angeles; California; United States; Nashville; Tennessee; United States; Seattle; Washington; United States; Washington; District of Columbia; United States

Summary Information

The report’s findings draw on several sources, including transportation network company (TNC) trip origin-destination data for five regions provided by a major TNC and similar modeled information for the city of San Francisco provided by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA). These regions including Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, Seattle and Washington, DC represent a variety of demographic, transportation, and land use characteristics. Additionally, the report references a survey of more than 10,000 transit and shared mobility users conducted by the researchers (referred to here as the Shared Mobility Survey), as well as rider surveys about TNC use administered by four large public transit agencies (the Four Agency Survey).


The study attempts to broaden the understanding of the interplay among emerging and established modes of transportation by approaching from several angles the question of how shared modes, and particularly TNCs, are being incorporated into the mix of transportation options. Information sources for this research include:
  • TNC trip data. Hourly origin-destination TNC trip data for five regions (Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, Seattle and Washington, DC) provided by a major TNC, and similar modeled information for the city of San Francisco provided by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA).
  • Shared Mobility Survey. A survey of more than 10,000 transit and other shared mobility users in eight metropolitan areas administered by the researchers.
  • Four-Agency survey. Transit rider surveys about TNC use administered by public transit agencies in Atlanta, the Bay Area, New Jersey, and Washington, DC.


TNC use is associated with decreases in respondents’ vehicle ownership and single-occupancy vehicle trips. Among respondents to the Shared Mobility Survey, the combination of postponed purchase, deciding not to purchase, and selling a car without replacement outweighed the respondents in each region who acquired a car to become a TNC driver. Respondents also reported net decreases in solo driving. Frequent TNC users reported owning less than one car per household, in line with those of frequent transit users, and people who used a combination of transit and TNCs owned even fewer cars. Due to limitations of the data available to the researchers, TNCs’ net impact on vehicle ownership and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) are not addressed by this study.

TNC usage takes place in communities of all income levels. The TNC trip data shows that individual TNC trips were widespread across each of the study regions, suggesting that TNCs are used to some degree by people in communities across the socioeconomic spectrum. While urban core areas had the highest volume, TNC trips originated in nearly every zip code in the core counties of the study regions.

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Broadening Understanding of the Interplay Between Public Transit, Shared Mobility, and Personal Automobiles

Author: Feigon, S. and Murphy, C.

Published By: Transportation Research Board

Source Date: 2018

Other Reference Number: Draft of TCRP Research Report 195



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Goal Areas


Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas, Statewide


transportation network company, TNC

Benefit ID: 2018-01295