Study finds ridesharing services may lessen instances of sexual assault

According to a study published in Information Systems Research, ridesharing services may provide additional protection for possible sexual assault victims, decreasing rape incidents.

Released by first author Jiyong Park and his colleagues, the study tracked pickups by drivers of ridesharing services, like Uber, for instance.

“By exploiting the nationwide quasi-experimental setting of Uber’s city-by-city rollouts in the United States during 2005–2017, we demonstrate that Uber’s entry into a city is negatively associated with the number of rape incidents,” Park and his colleagues wrote in their findings.

“To zoom into the effects of ride-sharing at a more granular level, we employ precinct-hour–level data on Uber pickups and rape occurrences in New York City in 2015 and conduct spatiotemporal analyses.”

Overall, the findings show that ridesharing services may contribute to a drastic reduction in the risk of rape occurring within neighborhoods with limited transportation accessibility.

“This study sheds new light on the potential of IT-enabled platforms to improve social well-being beyond their economic contributions and offers a new theoretical insight on the distinct role of digital platforms in public safety,” the authors of the study concluded in their findings.

Image courtesy of Reuters
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