Impact of Shared Mobility Services on Passenger Travel

Emerging technologies and shared mobility services are quickly changing transportation. These services are particularly popular among some segments of the population – e.g. young adults, or “millennials” – and in dense central parts of cities, and are likely to cause significant impacts on total passenger travel and the use of other travel modes. Still, the reasons behind the adoption of these services, and their effects on the use of cars vs. other transportation modes, as well as on transportation-related energy consumption and pollutant emissions, are largely unclear. Large-scale travel demand models are not able to account for the role of these services in affecting travel behavior. This study builds on an on-going research effort to understand the mobility of millennials and the adoption of new mobility services.

The researchers will analyze a large comprehensive dataset collected in Fall 2015: the available data include information on personal attitudes, living arrangements and residential location, travel behavior, vehicle ownership, awareness, availability and frequency of use of shared mobility services (including car sharing, bike sharing, and on-demand ride services such as Uber and Lyft), average monthly spending and limitations on the use of shared mobility, among other dimensions. The data were collected from 2400 millennials and members of Generation X, selected using a quota sampling approach based on geographic location and neighborhood type. They further integrated the dataset with additional information on the land use characteristics of the neighborhoods where the respondents live.

In this project, the researchers will model the relationships between the adoption of shared mobility services and car travel, in different neighborhood types and geographic settings, and provide important insights into the effects of new mobility services on other components of travel demand and VMT, energy consumption and pollutant emissions, which will help improve large-scale model predictions and account for the role of shared mobility on travel demand, car use and pollutant emissions, and in affecting transportation sustainability.

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