The Ambivalence of Ridesharing

Although ridesharing is perceived by transportation planners and policy makers to be a viable alternative to other modes of transportation, little objective information is available on ridesharing behaviors. This study uses travel survey data to investigate the evolution of the ridesharing market in an urban area. The study is based on data from four large-scale origin-destination surveys conducted in the Greater Montreal Area (1987, 1993, 1998 and 2003). In the latest survey conducted in Montreal, car passengers were asked to identify the driver who gave them the opportunity to travel in this way. Their answers were classified according to the type of driver; for instance, a member of their household, a neighbor or a co-worker. This information is used to calibrate a model matching car passengers and car drivers belonging to the same household. This will be referred to as intra-household ridesharing (IHHR). Preliminary results reveal that ridesharing's share of the overall market is declining and that approximately 70% of all trips made by car passengers are the result of IHHR. Furthermore, around 15% of those trips are questionable, in that they were exclusively generated for another individual’s purposes, consequently generating an additional trip for the journey back home. Moreover, this percentage increased over time. Since access to a car for household members has become easier and activity rhythms of adults are less flexible than in the past, it is suggested that policies aimed at reducing car use through ridesharing may need to be rethought.


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  • Accession Number: 01046587
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 12 2007 11:13PM