Jun 11, 2021
On-demand rideshares like Uber and Lyft are now as commonplace an option for getting where we need to go as cabs, buses and trains, and arguably more accessible.
However, as rideshares have increased in popularity, so to have concerns over passenger safety, as we’ve seen extensive media coverage over the past several years of driver sexual misconduct and assault, as well as criticism of these top rideshare companies for failing to conduct adequate background checks and other safety protocols.
And while recently, Uber and Lyft have taken steps to better ensure rider safety, to include partnering to create a shared database of banned drivers, these incidences have left passengers, particularly female, potentially questioning the safety of these transportation options and their presence in their communities.
But now, new research provides additional insight to the conversation surrounding rider safety, with new evidence showing that when a rideshare enters a new city, sexual assault rates in the surrounding community can decrease by more than 6%.
Joining me to discuss his work in this area is Jiyong Park with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His study, “The Deterrent Effect of Ride-sharing on Sexual Assault and Investigation of Situational Contingencies,” will be published in a forthcoming issue of the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research.