As Lyft and Uber race toward IPOs this spring, Americans are relying on the ride-hailing services more than ever, and as a result, city parking garages and airport parking lots are a bit emptier. A new study published in The Journal of Transportation and Land Use aims to understand how parking demand is changing as people opt to hitch a ride and leave their cars at home.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Denver found that people who use ride-hailing are willing to pay more to avoid driving, including the stress and cost of parking. As a result, cities are seeing a reduction in parking demand, particularly at restaurants and bars, event venues, and airports. That reduction could push cities to reconsider and replace parking infrastructure, leading to more vibrant cities and, one day, less dependency on cars.

“We wanted to understand how these new services, Uber and Lyft, are impacting a city in regards to how people shift travel behavior, overall congestion and changes in landscape,” said lead author Alejandro Henao, former CU Denver PhD student and current mobility researcher with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). For the study, he teamed up with Wes Marshall, PhD, PE, associate professor in the College of Engineering, Design and Computing.

Read more at University of Colorado Denver