Chart of the Day: US Metro Areas Ranked by Ridesharing Usage

Here’s another great chart from Portland-based City Observatory showing the number of people who work driving ridesharing cars like Uber and Lyft per capita (the so-called “gig economy”). It’s not carsharing per se (so does not include car2go or Hourcar), but a chart based on (self)employment statistics.

Here’s how the data was collected:

We want to know which cities have, proportionately, the largest concentrations of independent contractors involved in providing passenger ground transportation services. To answer this question, we computed the number of non-employers in this category per 100,000 metropolitan area residents.

And here’s the result:


It’s not that surprising I suppose. MSP ranks #16 on the list, about where it should be, especially once you include high-ride-sharing metro areas like New Orleans. The report’s author, Joe Cortright, describes a connection between density and gig drivers:

It’s apparent that the growth of ridesharing has proceeded most rapidly in larger, denser cities, and has lagged in smaller and more sprawling ones. The richest markets for transportation network companies are where there are lots of potential customers, and where private car travel is expensive and inconvenient.

There could also be a connection between existing taxi industries or regulatory environments, which vary quite a bit from city to city.

(Q: Why is the Twin Cities so different than Denver on this list?)

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.