Ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft provided more than 65 million car trips in Massachusetts in 2017, according to state data released May 1. Of those rides, nearly 35 million were in Boston proper, which translates into an average of 96,000 a day.
The statistics are the first of their kind from the state regarding the impact of the services.
Depending on how one sees them, such statistics—there were an average of 67 Uber and Lyft rides underway in Boston in any given minute last year—show that the ride-hailing services are either adding mightily to Boston’s already-awful congestion or helping ease it by ferrying people who would otherwise drive.
It’s probably the former. Why?
Because a sizable portion of ride-hailing users—the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in a February report estimated more than 40 percent—would have otherwise taken public transit. So Uber and Lyft are not necessarily taking more cars off the road.
One thing is for sure: The services have decimated the traditional taxi industry in Massachusetts. Taxis completed 5.9 million trips in 2017, well under the 11.4 million they completed in 2013.