Chart of the Day: Lyft/Uber vs. DUIs (in S.F.)

This is information from San Francisco charting the implementation of the alternative taxi services with DUI rates. Something to think about when pondering similar changes in cities across the country.

[via Washington Post.]

DUI san fran

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9 Responses to Chart of the Day: Lyft/Uber vs. DUIs (in S.F.)

  1. Reuben Collins
    Reuben Collins July 11, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    This may say more about changing levels of enforcement efforts over time than anything else. DUI arrests is probably somewhat independent from the number of people engaging in impaired driving?

    • Alex Cecchini
      Alex Cecchini July 11, 2014 at 11:58 am #

      Good point. Also, the levels are just reaching pre-2009 ones where there was a spike. A longer reaching chart might show how variable the arrests are over time, but I’m interested to see what other events cause spikes/dips. For example, the spike/drop here seems to correlate pretty well with the recession.

      This is not to say better access to cabs (in any form), transit, etc won’t help drunk driving rates, just that the data here is murky.

      • Steve Goose July 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

        If the police enforcement tactics have no effect over the long term (which I doubt they do), and some percentage of people become unemployed, some percentage of those drink, and some percentage of those get caught, I think UE (see post below) could be a significant driver. During recessions rates of suicide increase significantly as well.

        What fun is you can see the dot com recession fading away as well as UE grinds lower in 04, which would have been huge in SF more so than other parts of the country.

  2. Steve Goose July 11, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    It might also just be that more people were drinking in general during the peak of the recession… that graph looks a lot like the unemployment graph for San Fran:

  3. Steve Goose July 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    bah cant embed in comments – here is link

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?g=Fp3

  4. Steve Goose July 11, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    I would also note a couple things:

    1) the drops in DUI occur prior to the implementation of the services in each case. And the drop is so large I would have a hard time thinking that instantaneously a critical mass of people started using the services, vs a gradual rise in users.

    2) There looks to be a strong seasonal component – with peaks happening mid year (summer) which would make sense, prob more people out drinking in the summer vs winter, even in SF.

    3) If the services explain the decrease, what explains the increases in 08/09?

  5. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke July 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Yeah. You are all excellent skeptics. Well done.

    • Steve Goose July 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

      Lol sorry Bill – I do HOPE these services help reduce DUIs!!

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