“Ride-hailing services are seen by minorities as a benefit to areas underserved by taxis,” the research found.
Pew Research Center conducted a large survey of 4,787 American adults in 2016 in order to study the scope and impact of the shared, collaborative and on-demand economy. The survey found that Americans who live in majority-minority communities (where more than 50% of residents are racial or ethnic minorities) “are more likely than those who reside in predominately white neighborhoods to say that ride-hailing apps serve neighborhoods that taxis won’t visit.”
Over half (53%) of ride-hailing users living in majority-minority communities communicated to Pew Research Center that ride-hailing provides service to neighborhoods where traditional taxi services are scarce. Only 10% of those respondents disagreed with this statement. Below is a graph displaying these results.
Access to transportation is vital in these areas.
As Sara Heath of Xtelligent Healthcare Media explains, “Rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are cruising into the healthcare spotlight. As medical professionals focus on improving patient access to care and addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH), these rideshare services are a cheap and effective option for meeting industry needs… For millions of patients across the country, getting a ride to a medical appointment is a genuine challenge. Public transportation can be unreliable or unavailable, many individuals lack access to their own vehicles, and patients may not always be able to secure a ride from a friend or family member at the right time.” According to the CDC, access to transportation is one of the most significant social determinants of health.
Further, Uber/Lyft have offered a safe alternative to potentially dangerous situations. Many have opted for ridesharing rather than driving while intoxicated. Vulnerable populations, being primarily women, who are wary of walking or taking public transportation at late hours are given the option of a quick get-away with rideshare services.
Rideshare companies also prove useful when passengers are in a time crunch to get to work, an interview, or have to respond to a family emergency.
The low price, efficiency, and non-discriminatory nature of ridesharing has opened these services to communities otherwise left unserved.