Research by Professor Susan Shaheen and PhD student Jessica Lazarus is featured in the latest issue of Transfers Magazine. In "To Pool or Not to Pool," Shaheen and Lazarus examine how pooling, when multiple travelers share a ride in the same vehicle, can alleviate some of the challenges resulting from on-demand mobility services and transportation network companies (TNCs), like Uber and Lyft.
While TNCs offer flexible rides and can lower the barriers to living car-free, they also contribute to increasing vehicle mileage, traffic congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions, in part due to the time the vehicles spend driving without a passenger.
Shaheen and Lazarus show that the growing adoption of on-demand mobility services offers an opportunity to expand the market for pooling, which has traditionally been restricted to commuters. By contrast, on-demand rides are used by a much wider base of travelers for a greater range of trips. By offering more pooled on-demand ride options and incentives, TNCs and policymakers can reduce the negative impacts of on-demand mobility, including overall congestion and environmental impacts.