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2021 Rideshare Data Report

Each year, the Transportation Network Company Division of the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) produces a ride data report that summarizes rideshare usage in Massachusetts. Through use of interactive maps, charts and tables, you can learn more on the evolving rideshare industry.

Table of Contents


DPU has issued an annual rideshare data report from 2017 to present.  In 2021, rideshare companies – also called Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) – provided approximately 39.7 million rides in Massachusetts.  Historically, TNCs provided 35 million rides in 2020, 91.1 million rides in 2019, 81.3 million rides in 2018, and 64.8 million rides in 2017.  You can also explore the data behind this 2021 report, see the 2020 report, and see prior years’ reports.

Growth and Challenges in 2021

The rideshare industry declined dramatically in 2020 due to pandemic-related factors.  In 2021, there were about 12.5% more rideshare trips1 in Massachusetts than in 2020.  This recovery in ride volume was largely experienced in the eastern part of Massachusetts, especially the greater Boston area along with the Cape and Islands.  The Commonwealth as a whole, however, largely remains below pre-pandemic rideshare volume levels.

The largest increase in number of rides happened in Boston, where 18.3 million rides started in 2021.  This is a 15% increase from the 15.9 million rides that started in Boston in 2020 but still well below the 45.2 million rides that started in Boston in 2019.  On a percentage basis, the Cape and Islands saw significant gains in rideshare volume in 2021.  Provincetown saw around 14,000 rideshare trips start there in 2021, a 114% increase from 2020.  Chatham saw over 17,000 rideshare trips start there in 2021, a 164% increase from 2020.  And Harwich saw over 23,000 rideshare trips start there in 2021, an 85% increase from 2020.

Other parts of Massachusetts also experienced rideshare gains, but at a small scale.  For example, Somerville saw 1.17 million rideshare trips start there in 2021, a 1% increase from 2020.  Gloucester saw about 10,500 rideshare trips start there in 2021, a 2% increase from 2020.  Hopkinton saw over 8,000 rideshare trips start there in 2021, a 3% increase from 2020.

Though many cities and towns saw gains in 2021, others saw rideshare trip numbers fall.  Worcester saw rideshare trip numbers fall to nearly 787,000, down nearly 2.7% compared to 2020.  Amherst's nearly 58,000 rideshare trips in 2021 represent almost a 36% decline compared to 2020.  And Northampton's 24,000 rideshare trips in 2021 fell about 53% compared to 2020 numbers.

Though ride volume across the Commonwealth largely remains below pre-pandemic levels, there are a handful of towns that saw more rides in 2021 than they experienced even before the pandemic.  Westport’s trips, for example, were nearly 9% higher than 2019.  Freetown is also up nearly 22% compared to pre-pandemic levels.  In western Massachusetts, Leyden saw its first rideshare trip since the DPU started regulating rideshare in 2017.  These numbers show that, while challenges remain with ridership recovery, rideshare is still a vital part of the transportation landscape in Massachusetts.

Using the map below, you can explore the 2021 rideshare pickup numbers in Massachusetts.  Type a city or town name into the search bar to see the number of rides that started in each municipality.  Darker shades of blue indicate more trips started in a location compared to other places, while lighter shades of blue indicate fewer rides when compared to other places.  You can also click or tap locations on the map to explore numbers across different locations.

You can use the map below to explore percentage changes in rideshare pickup numbers year over year, from 2020 to 2021 and 2019 to 2021, by typing locations in the search bar, tapping, or clicking on the map.  You can use the filter menu to switch between 2020 to 2021 changes and 2019 to 2021 changes.  Green represents a year over year gain, yellow represents a year over year decline, and no color indicates no change in rideshare pickup number.

Using the table below, you can further explore the year over year changes.  Type a city or town into the search bar below to see rideshare pickup numbers going back to 2019, along with percentage changes year over year.  You can also tap or click the column headings to sort the table by any of these values.

TNC Travel Patterns across Massachusetts

Even with the impact of the pandemic, rideshare services still proved vital for connecting people to destinations in Massachusetts in 2021.  Below, you can explore these travel patterns within the 2021 rideshare data.  To explore the data, type a city or town into the search bar below to see the number of rides that started and ended in that city or town, along with the number and percentage of "local rides" – rides that started and ended in the same city or town.  You can also see rideshare pickups and drop-offs calculated "per capita" based on the population of the origin or destination city or town2.  You can also tap or click the column headings to sort the table by any of these values.

If you're curious about exactly how many rideshare trips went from one destination in Massachusetts to another, or maybe how many rideshare trips started in Massachusetts and went out of state, you can explore that aspect of the 2021 rideshare data using the map below.  Use the filter menu below to select a destination city or town or 'Out of State' (at the bottom of the list) to see all the rideshare trips that started in Massachusetts but ended out of state.  Then type a start location in the search box, like Boston or Worcester or Provincetown.  Darker shades of red indicate more trips compared to other routes, lighter shades of red indicate fewer or no trips.  You can click or tap locations on the map to see whatever travel patterns you're interested in.

Average Speed, Distance, and Accident Data

Overall, in 2021, rides traveled longer distances, lasted longer, and moved faster compared to rides in 2020.  The average ride in Massachusetts lasted 21.9 minutes and traveled 12.9 miles at 31.8 miles per hour (MPH)3.

Rides in Central and Western Massachusetts tended to travel long distances, last longer, and move faster than in Eastern Massachusetts, the same as in prior years.  The Town of Florida had the longest average ride time of just over 80 minutes, followed by Bernardston, Conway, and Gill with average ride times of just over one hour.  Bernardston had the longest average distance traveled by rideshare at just over 62 miles.  The shortest average rideshare distances were primarily on the Cape and Islands (Nantucket's average was just over 3 miles, the same as in 2020) and in the Greater Boston area (Boston's average was 4.6 miles).

Municipalities that averaged speeds of more than 40 MPH were mostly located in Central and Western Massachusetts.  The slowest travel speeds were in densely populated cities and towns, but generally speeds were up compared to 2020 and 2019.  For the second year in a row, Brookline had the lowest average speed at 14.6 MPH.  Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville all had average ride speeds below 19 MPH in 2021.

Using the map below, you can explore average ride distance, time, and speed for rides in 2021 by searching for a city or town and clicking or tapping locations on the map.  You can also switch between average speed, miles, minutes, and data on rideshare accidents by reported location using the filter menu.  Darker shades of green indicate higher speed, greater distance, longer ride times, and more accidents compared to neighboring locations.

Rideshare Trust Fund Update

For calendar year 2021, the Commonwealth collected approximately $7.9 million from a $0.20 per-ride assessment on each rideshare trip that started in Massachusetts.  Cities and towns receive half of this amount based on the number of rides that started in their communities, while the other half is distributed to MassDevelopment and the Commonwealth's Transportation Fund.  Since establishing the assessment, the Commonwealth has so far collected more than $62 million from rideshare companies from the per-ride assessment of over 300 million rides.

Year Total Rides Per-Ride Assessment Total
2021 39.7 million $7.9 million
2020 35 million $7 million
2019 91.1 million $18.2 million
2018 81.3 million $16 million
2017 64.8 million $12.9 million

In the table below, you can search and sort per-ride distribution amounts per city and town going back to rides from the year 2017, when the Division first started distributing the funds.  

2020 Municipal Project Reports

In 2021, municipalities were required to report on their use of the 2020 fund distributions.  Below are some highlighted municipal projects made possible by 2020 per-ride assessment funds.  

A list of municipal projects as reported to the Division for per-ride assessment funds greater than $1,000 can be found here.  A full list of projects can be provided upon request.

1This number reflects only passenger rides provided by a permitted TNC that originated within the borders of Massachusetts as reported to the TNC Division.  Rides that started out of state and ended in Massachusetts are not counted.  Food delivery and other services offered by app-based companies in Massachusetts are also not counted.

Population data to determine per person rates is from the 2020 Census State Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File and 2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, US Census Bureau.

3 Averages were calculated by weighting TNC-reported trip length and distance by ride counts.

Date published: May 17, 2022
Last updated: March 6, 2023

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