Impact Assessment of Dynamic Ridesharing - a Norwegian Case Study
Lone-Eirin Lervåg, SINTEF, Solveig Meland, SINTEF
This paper presents an evaluation assessment of a Norwegian ride sharing initiative focusing on work journeys. The analysis addresses impacts on travel bahaviour, as well as identifying inhibitors and success factors of the ride sharing concept.
Dynamic ridesharing is a mode of transportation in which an individual car driver and passenger share a vehicle based on an automatic ride-matching process. The car driver post his own trip plans and offer unoccupied seats for passengers going in the same direction at the same time, at the reimbursement of travel expenses. The ride matching is facilitated by a matching agency based on offers and requests from drivers and passengers respectively. Smartphones with GPS navigation systems has enhanced the efficiency of dynamic ridesharing services, allowing shared trips to be planned in a short notice by using dedicated smartphone applications ("apps").
The main objectives of promoting ride sharing solutions are usually expressed in terms of;
1) obtaining environmentally friendly transport solutions by reducing fuel consumption, emissions and pollution,
2) increasing transport capacity by mitigating traffic congestions and land use for parking areas, and
3) improving mobility by offering a convenient mode of transport (time saving, cost saving)
Dynamic ride sharing has obvious benefits both for society and individual travelers. It has however proven difficult to obtain a sustainable market of drivers and riders in order to achieve a successful ride sharing service. Inhibitors comprise e.g. challenges concerning driver attitude, economic conditions, legal and regulatory status and technological challenges. Several incentives, including tax or toll reductions, access to dedicated parking spaces or areas, access to ride sharing lanes etc., are suggested in order to overcome the obstacles.
A Norwegian ride sharing initiative involves eight different companies with more than 3.000 employees located in the city of Bergen. The ride sharing activities are being evaluated in an on-going research study, with the aim of assessing the impacts on travel behaviour and identifying the inhabitants and success factors of the ride sharing concept. The evaluation methodology involves both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection, including;
• A major web-survey among all employees in the eight companies participating in the ride sharing initiative. The questions in the survey are adapted for three main groups; i) employees that ride share on a regular basis, ii) employees that have tried ride sharing but do not ride share any more, and iii) employees that have not tried ride sharing.
• Operational statistics from the ride matching agency including data on all ride sharing trips during a one year period (October 2012 - October 2013).
• Operational statistics on promoting activities and incentives used in the ride sharing initiative.
• Interviews with companies that are participating in the ride sharing initiative, including i) members of the management and ii) dedicated ride sharing ambassadors.
• Focus group interviews with members from the different groups of employees stated in the first bullet point.
The data collected will be analyzed during spring 2014 and the results will be presented in the paper for the European Transport Conference.
Association for European Transport