This summer, ridesharing app companies Lyft and Uber faced a challenge when introducing their services here in Pittsburgh. After a few short months of operation, the Pennsylvania Utility Commission issued a cease-and-desist to both companies, which began a public outcry in favor of the increasingly popular method of getting around town.
As a fan of the services, our CTO Nate Good developed a theory about their effect on drunk-driving. To learn more, he looked to Philadelphia — where Uber had been in operation for a few years now — and explored publicly available data regarding DUI charges. What he immediately found was a correlation between the introduction of UberX and a decline in DUI charges against drivers under the age of 30.
Good shared these findings in a data visualization, which was quickly picked up by Uber’s company blog. Eventually, the Washington Post shared it on their Wonkblog, as part of an article that explored whether Lyft and Uber could be responsible for reducing DUIs.
“Lyft and Uber are becoming a part of the event life cycle by getting people home safely,” Good said.
“This ridesharing project required a little bit of both evidence gathering and simple presentation, which are both principles my team and I use every day to help our ticketing partners understand their customers and create more awesome events.”
You can read more about the study on our press release [PDF].