WASHINGTON (Dec. 17, 2015) – In the second year of analyzing data from 50 of the largest U.S. cities, seven cities received the top score for friendliness to vehicle-for-hire transportation, according to a study released today by the R Street Institute.
Ridescore 2015: Hired Driver rules in U.S. cities grades each of the 50 on their legislative framework and friendliness toward transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft as well as toward taxicabs and limousines. The scores for each segment are then combined to give each city a cumulative grade on its for-hire transportation environment.
Washington, 2014’s highest-scoring city, was joined this year by Indianapolis, Louisville, Mesa, Milwaukee, Raleigh and Tucson with a tie score. All seven cities received an “A” grade, with an identical score of 95 on both TNC and taxi friendliness and an 85 on limo friendliness.
“The rising tide of transportation friendliness in 2015 was driven by the spread of ridesharing legislation around the country,” said Andrew Moylan executive director of R Street and co-author of the study. “While last year’s study told the story of a policy area in flux, Ridescore 2015 tells a story of consistent, albeit modest, improvement.”
While only earning a “B-” for its cumulative score, Nashville came out as the clear winner of all of the cities on TNC friendliness, due in part to its commonsense ridesharing legislation and lack of hostile regulations that would restrict access. The city did receive a modest deduction for having slightly disproportionate insurance requirements. As of December 2015, 29 states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of legislation creating a regulatory structure for TNCs.
Philadelphia fared the worst, earning the only “F” grade for TNC friendliness in the study. Its slightly improved 2015 score for limo friendliness gave it an overall grade of “D-,” a distinction it shares with Miami as the two worst cities in the country for transportation friendliness. Houston, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Orlando and San Antonio also received cumulative grades of “D” or “D+.”
R Street also updated its user-friendly website at www.ridescore.org, which outlines all of the cities and grades.
“We still have a long way to go for all major cities to offer their citizens fully functioning driver-for-hire transportation markets,” said Moylan. “Other cities would do well to examine the upward trends of the top scorers and find ways to emulate those models.”