Services like Uber and Lyft have become popular options for people large urban centers like New York City and Los Angeles, especially for late trips home or commuting at odd hours. But many people treat these rides as once-in-a-while luxuries rather than their usual go-to.
Getting around in a big city is expensive no matter what mode of transportation you use, but according to a new study even private rides everywhere you need to go could be cheaper than owning a vehicle.
According to a 2018 internet trends report by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, taking an Uber everywhere – namely to and from work – could be cheaper than owning a car in the cities of New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Chicago.
The report takes into account vehicle maintenance, insurance, gas, and parking in calculating cost, as well as peak commuter times for “suburbs to city center trips mirroring the average commuting distance for the metro area.” According to the report, the average cost of owning a car in New York City is $218 per week, versus $142 in Uber rides. In Chicago, the average cost to own was $116 perweek, versus $77 to hail. In Washington D.C., it was $130 compared to $96, and in Los Angeles, $89 compared to $62.
Of course, average costs do not account for price surging in especially busy times, and major cities also have public transit. In New York City, for example, an unlimited ride monthly MetroCard is $121, and a weekly unlimited card costs $32.