Car-Sharing Companies Hit Speed Bumps as Demand Slows, Ride-Hailing Grows

Car-Sharing Companies Hit Speed Bumps as Demand Slows, Ride-Hailing Grows

By Adrienne Roberts Updated July 14, 2017 2:33 p.m. ET America’s car-sharing industry is struggling as some major operators scale back because of weak demand in certain cities, vandalism and competition from ride-hailing services like Uber. Enterprise Holdings Inc.’s Enterprise Rent-A-Car closed its CarShare membership service in six major cities in recent weeks, following similar moves by other providers. To read the full story, visit:...
Mobile Apps and Transportation: A Review of Smartphone Apps and a Study of User Response to Multimodal Traveler Information

Mobile Apps and Transportation: A Review of Smartphone Apps and a Study of User Response to Multimodal Traveler Information

In recent years, technological and social forces have pushed smartphone applications (apps) from the fringe to the mainstream. Understanding the role of transportation apps in urban mobility is important for policy development and transportation planners. This study evaluates the role and impact of multimodal aggregators from a variety of perspectives, including a literature review; a review of the most innovative, disruptive, and highest-rated transportation apps; interviews with experts in the industry, and a user survey of former multimodal aggregator RideScout users. Between February and April 2016, researchers conducted interviews with experts to gain a stronger understanding about challenges and benefits of data sharing between private companies and public agencies. Key findings from the expert interviews include the critical need to protect user privacy; the potential to use data sharing to address integrated corridor and congestion management as well as various pricing strategies during peak hours; along with the potential benefits for improving coordination between the public and private sectors. In March 2016, researchers surveyed 130 people who had downloaded the RideScout app to evaluate attitudes and perceptions toward mobile apps, travel behavior, and modal shift. The goal was to enhance understanding of how the multimodal apps were impacting the transportation behavior. The survey did found that respondents used multimodal apps in ways that yielded travel that was less energy intensive and more supportive of public transit. Looking to the future, smartphone applications and more specifically multimodal aggregators, may offer the potential for transportation planners and policymakers to enhance their understanding of multimodal travel behavior, share data, enhance collaboration, and identify opportunities for public-private partnerships....
Still Waiting for the Transportation Revolution

Still Waiting for the Transportation Revolution

BY BEN MILLER SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 BERKELEY, CALIF. — The future of transportation could very well be unrecognizable compared with today’s system: self-driving pods packed with carpoolers, electric motors, multi-modal journeys, invisible conversations between machines. But that’s the future. And while some of these things are beginning to creep into society, Susan Shaheen isn’t ready to fly the banner of the future just yet. Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, has studied the future of transportation for two decades. Speaking to government and private-sector transportation workers on Sept. 7 at the Bridge SF conference, her message was this: We’re still waiting for the revolution, but there are some very interesting changes in the wind. To read the full article, visit:...
Does Car Sharing Help the Environment? The Early Evidence Is In

Does Car Sharing Help the Environment? The Early Evidence Is In

By TODD MYERS Sep 13, 2016 The proliferation of car-sharing services in major cities is evidence that this new transportation option is popular with consumers, likely because it’s cheaper to share a car than own one. But what impact has it had on the environment? New research, from the City of Seattle and university researchers finds positive environmental results. Car sharing is a rent-by-the-hour system, where users find a car nearby using a smartphone app. Members then unlock the car and use it as long as they like, returning it to one of many areas around town. The availability of the cars makes them a quick and easy way to travel, without having to wait for a bus or commit to the full-day rate of a traditional rental car. To read the full article, visit:...
Google Is Driving a Blurry Line With Waze Carpool Pilot

Google Is Driving a Blurry Line With Waze Carpool Pilot

By: Katy Steinmetz Aug. 31, 2016 When news broke that Google has been pilot testing a ride-sharing program through the Waze app, some were surprised to read that the company “doesn’t plan to vet” drivers. Instead the company would depend on a user-review system, as the pilot expands around San Francisco. But how is that possible, when competitors like Uber and Lyft have to do background checks on their drivers and many city officials have insisted that they should be fingerprinting them too? The answer is that there is a legal distinction between what Uber and Lyft do and what transportation experts call “true ride-sharing.” And there are hints that Google has been taking pains to make their pilot look like the latter. To read the full article,...