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On Transportation Networking Companies and Ride Hailing Services

September 04, 20XX

Dear _________,

I am a constituent who lives in your city/ district at ___________________. I'm writing to you today to encourage you to look into ways of continuing to fund public transportation services in our city.

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs)/ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are often hailed as the next big thing in public transit. However, it is important to understand that TNCs are not a panacea to transit woes, but rather a complementary component – they should be treated warily and need to be understood more fully before they are used as an excuse to limit and reduce existing transit networks. Contrary to popular opinion, TNCs do not reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled on our roads, nor do they create any substantial decrease in car-ownership. In fact, 49 to 61% of ride-hailing trips would not have been made at all, thus directly increasing vehicle miles traveled, i.e. congestion. Furthermore, ride-hailing reduces bus and light rail ridership – to the detriment of our public transit systems. More concerning, TNCs such as Uber and Lyft are known to use strong-armed lobbying tactics and have secured preemptive state law in 41 states, taking away some to all of the ability of cities to set their own standards and regulations. Finally, TNCs have been found to enable discrimination by both passengers and drivers, with both parties, whether implicitly or explicitly, discriminating against the other on basis of race, ethnicity, and location. All this is not to say that TNCs cannot be used efficiently as last-mile/first-mile complements to transit systems – in fact, in this manner they can be incredibly helpful. However, they should not be treated as the solution to the future of public transit infrastructure.




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