Examining the Potential for Uber and Lyft to be Included in Subsidized Mobility Programs Targeted to Seniors, Low Income Adults, and People with Disabilities

Research Team: Elizabeth Deakin (lead), Jeremy Halpern, and Madeleine Parker

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: Cities throughout California and the United States have implemented programs that provide scrip to pay for taxis for seniors, low income people, and those with disabilities. However, scrip programs generate considerable paperwork and there are frequent complaints about service, so cities and scrip users have expressed interest in using mobility services like Uber and Lyft. These services do not accept scrip and require smartphones and credit cards, which some seniors do not have.

Project Description: Researchers present an assessment of subsidized taxi programs in operation in the United States and an analysis of the potential for Transportation Network Companies (TNC) integration into these programs —or in some cases, the possible replacement of taxis with TNC services. The investigators present background information on target markets for these ride services and the types of services that have been offered, examining the design of some 40 subsidized rides programs. The research team also presents five brief case studies of programs that have incorporated TNCs in their services, and report on the findings from nearly 100 interviews with rides program users, providers, sponsors, and caregivers. Based on this work, the researchers summarize expected benefits of including TNC services in rides programs as well as concerns that are raised about their inclusion and ways to overcome those concerns.

Status: Completed

Budget: $57,817

Policy Brief(s):