Legislation aims to assess traffic impacts of app-based delivery services – StreetsblogMASS

Legislation aims to assess traffic impacts of app-based delivery services – StreetsblogMASS

Boston’s regional planning agency warns that app-based delivery services such as DoorDash have become a major source of traffic in the region, and drivers in the gig economy are estimated to make twice as many trips to deliver food orders as they do. for carrying human passengers.

Some lawmakers in the Massachusetts State House want ride-hailing companies — which currently operate with little state and local government oversight — to begin reporting detailed data about where and when they operate, as Uber and Lyft already have to do . personal journeys.

In December, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) released the From Application to Table report “about the traffic, land use and economic effects of the rapid food delivery from third-party mobile apps such as DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats.”

As Uber and Lyft shift to deliveries, customers face longer waits and higher prices

Under a 2016 law, Uber and Lyft have long been required to report the date, origin and destination of every passenger they transport. Last summer, lawmakers revised the law’s reporting aspects to require significantly more detail about each trip.

The 2016 law also mandated a 20-cent travel fee, part of which goes to the municipality where each trip originates, and part of which helps pay the state oversight office of the Department of Public Works.

But those rules and fees only apply when high-economy drivers deliver passengers for Uber or Lyft — not when drivers deliver takeout.

Because these delivery services operate with very little oversight in Massachusetts, MAPC’s Application to Table report acknowledges that it is difficult to estimate the extent of their impact.

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But there’s still plenty of evidence — like the long lines of double-parked cars that regularly block Boylston Street near the Copley Square Chick-Fil-A — that the impacts are significant.

Based on public securities and stock exchange regulatory filings by food delivery companies, MAPC estimated it as such Massachusetts probably saw it In 2021, 80-105 million food deliveries were made from food delivery apps, compared to the 40 million rides Uber and Lyft made for passengers in the same year.

MAPC also cites a case study in London which found that food delivery businesses spend an average of 10 minutes taking orders and an average of 2 minutes making deliveries to customers.

This suggests that app-based delivery drivers use tight curbside parking zones (or park illegally) even more than Uber and Lyft drivers, whose drivers typically spend less than a minute picking up or dropping off passengers.

This winter, state House and Senate lawmakers are proposing additional bills that would subject app-based delivery drivers to the same data rules as app-based ride-hailing services.

The House version of An Act Relative to Third Party Delivery Data Reporting is sponsored by Rep. Jay Livingstone of Boston, and the Senate version is sponsored by Sen. Brendan Crighton of Lynn.

“In the past period, we were able to improve the reporting of TNCs (i.e., ‘transportation network companies’ like Uber and Lyft) in the bond bill, but not for transportation. So with the MAPC report, it just seemed natural, as shipments have increased the same way TNCs did 5 or 10 years ago, that we should do the same kind of reporting,” Rep. Livingstone told StreetsblogMASS. Tuesday’s phone conversation.

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The proposed legislation focuses exclusively on data provision: these bills would not impose road fees on deliveries, nor would they impose stricter safety or certification requirements for delivery drivers.

“Once we get a better sense of the impacts, maybe a toll structure will be appropriate, but it’s really just about controlling what’s happening on our roads,” MP Livingstone said.

Both the House and Senate versions of the bill went before the legislature’s joint committee on transportation.

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