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Sharing the Fares

By MIT News

March 10, 2017

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The potential for urban ride-sharing is similar for a variety of cities all over the world, according to a study co-authored by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The study tracked scores of taxis in New York, San Francisco, Singapore, and Vienna, and found more than 90% of rides exceeding five minutes in duration could be easily shared.

"We found this kind of global law of ride-sharing," says Carlo Ratti, director of MIT's Senseable City Lab.

The researchers monitored more than 13,000 taxis for 12 months in New York City, using factors such as a city area, the number of taxi trips, and average traffic speed to determine what proportion of rides are shareable, given some modest rules about the flexibility passengers might have in terms of waiting for a ride. The researchers found more than 99% of trips in New York are shareable.

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