Car service startup Uber has produced some graphics showing the effect of the government shutdown on its ridership in the Washington, D.C., area. Certain routes, like between downtown and Capitol Hill, have shown a reduction that the company calls “significant.”

photo: Uber

On-demand ride service Uber has crunched its data and put together some graphs showing the effect of the government shutdown on its business in the nation’s capitol. It’s a small window into this issue — consider the small fraction of federal employees, and overall residents, in the Washington, D.C.-area who use Uber — but it’s still interesting.

Uber’s blog post includes three graphs, but I think this one is the most illustrative, showing the decrease in ridership between downtown and Capitol Hill. Red lines mean ridership decreased, while blue lines mean ridership increased. For a certain population, the shutdown definitely appears to have altered their daily routines. People do seem to be flitting about the surrounding neighborhoods more frequently, though.


What might be even more useful in assessing the shutdown’s effect would be data from a company like INRIX or Google/Waze that is capturing traffic data from a signficantly higher and more-diverse population of people. Maybe that’s coming, but for now, Uber’s little slice of shutdown insight will have to suffice.

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  1. I just got back from a trip to DC. Cab ride to Dulles in afternoon commute only took 40 mins! Yah, there’s WAY fewer cars on the roads.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I’m actually surprised Uber was the first to act on this aspect. Seems like there’d be a lot of data — quantitative and anecdotal — about traffic gridlock or lack thereof.

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