Ridesharing trips via Uber, Lyft and others that originate in Wellesley increased 28% in 2018 from the year before, and a combined half a million trips started or ended here. For a town jussst close enough to Boston to make ridesharing a sometimes option for trips to or from the city or airport feasible, and given the fact that we have 3 colleges in town, makes Wellesley a sweet spot for ridesharing.
This data and more is now available in the 2018 Rideshare in Massachusetts data report released by the state’s Transportation Network Company (TNC) Division. Overall, ridesharing increased 25% across the state in 2018 vs. 2017.
The Commonwealth requires rideshare companies to share data with it. You might not realize that the companies pay a 20 cent fee per ride to the state that’s divvied up among cities and towns, the state’s transportation fund, and the poor taxi and limo industry. Wellesley snagged more than $19K from those fees from 2017, and used the monies for warning signals to improve pedestrian walkways and crossings, and provide transportation through the Council on Aging (Wellesley’s town government is looking to formalize a process for allocating such funds going forward).
Wellesley ranked 29th in origin and destination trips, and that works out to about 9 origin and destination trips per year per person in town. On average, trips from and to Wellesley are about 9 miles, a little less than twice as long as the average Massachusetts ridesharing trip. Given that, and the fact that Wellesley only spans 10 square miles, it’s not surprising that only a quarter of Wellesley’s origin and destination trips are confined within town lines.
The average miles per hour of rideshare trips in Wellesley is 26.6, above the state average of 18.6.
You can check out all of the data in the sortable spreadsheet below.
Overall,there were about 81.3 million ridesharing trips in Massachusetts in 2018, with the biggest increases in raw numbers taking place in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. The largest percentage increases took place in smaller communities such as Provincetown (up 181%) and New Bedford (up 155%). And while ridesharing continues to flourish, note that such trips still pale in comparison to the billions of trips people take in their own vehicles.
With the MBTA jacking up commuter rail and subway fares come July 1 despite continued struggles with service performance, it’s easy to imagine even more Wellesley-ites opting for ridesharing down the road. The town has begun taking ridesharing into account too as it plans for the future. It’s mentioned in both Wellesley’s Unified Plan and the Wellesley Square Redevelopment plan.
Disclaimer: I currently work for the state at EOTSS but was not involved in this ridesharing data project.
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