The jury is still out on the relationship between on-demand ride-hailing services—your Ubers, Lyfts, and Bridjs—and public transportation. “Is Uber Transit's Enemy or Its Friend?” my colleague Laura Bliss asked in November of last year. The question is still resoundingly up in the air.
There is a world (a city, really) in which transit and these new, technology-based companies complement each other, where an integrated transit system takes people to more places more efficiently, with less congestion and pollution. There is also a world in which these companies and transit compete, where an uptick in ride-hailing steals much-needed passengers and funds away from struggling public agencies and crowds the road with more vehicles, more fumes, more miles driven overall.