To Uber or Not to Uber?

There are many factors to consider when determining if ride sharing is a good fit for a city. Is the population base big enough to support it? Is the area mostly suburban, or does it have a bustling urban core? Are there other viable (and reliable) public transportation options? We size up four American cities that have banned Uber and put them to the test.


Anchorage, Alaska

Population density: 171.2 per square mile.

Available mass transit: A bus system called People Mover.

Is it a good fit? No. Anchorage does attract tourists, but the city’s sprawling population puts more emphasis on car ownership, and the demand for ride sharing is not as high.


Panama City Beach, Florida

Population density: 650 per square mile.

Available mass transit: Buses, trollies and bike rentals.

Is it a good fit? Yes. While there might not be as many people living in Panama City Beach, their tourism industry is sizeable. So in addition to serving residents, ride sharing could offer affordable options for visitors.


San Antonio, Texas

Population density: 3,300 per square mile.

Available mass transit: Buses, car sharing and a circular trolley that serves the downtown area.

Is it a good fit? Yes. In addition to a dense population base and limited transit options, San Antonio is one of the nation’s top 20 convention destinations, giving the city all the ingredients that would make ride sharing popular.


Eugene, Oregon

Population density: 3,572.4 per square mile.

Mass transit: Bus system.

Is it a good fit? No. While Eugene does have the highest population density of these four cities, it’s a quintessential college town (home to the University of Oregon) with little tourist traffic to drive enough demand.