BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The use of ride sharing services plummeted in Massachusetts in 2020 as the pandemic shuttered businesses and forced many to work from home.
Ride sharing companies last year provided about 35 million rides that started in Massachusetts — a 62% drop statewide from the 91.1 million rides started in 2019, according to reports released Monday by the state Department of Public Utilities.READ MORE: 'It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way,' Dr. Mallika Marshall Says It's 'Heartbreaking And Demoralizing' To See COVID Cases Rise Again
The decline was the sharpest in the greater Boston area, the Cape and Islands, and in smaller towns in western Massachusetts. Outside of these areas, ride volume also fell, but at a lower rate.
The greatest drop came in Boston, which had 30 million fewer rides start within the city compared to 2019.
Overall in 2020, rides traveled longer distances, lasted longer, and moved faster compared to rides in 2019. The average ride in Massachusetts lasted 15.5 minutes and traveled 5.3 miles at 20.5 miles per hour.READ MORE: Six Dog Food Varieties Recalled Over Potentially Toxic Levels Of Mold
Ride sharing companies are assessed a 20-cent per-ride fee annually.
The companies have been assessed $7 million based on their 2020 rides. About $3.5 million of that will be proportionally distributed to cities and towns based on how many rides started within each community.
Funds are used to address the impact of the ride sharing industry on each community.
Massachusetts has so far collected more than $50 million from ride sharing companies from the per-ride assessment of over 270 million rides since 2017.MORE NEWS: Body Found On Side Of Route 1 Near Lynnfield Restaurant
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)