Can Sharing Economy Platforms Increase Social Equity for Vulnerable Populations in Disaster Response and Relief? A Case Study of the 2017 and 2018 California Wildfires

Authors: Stephen Wong, Jacquelyn Broader, and Susan Shaheen Date: June 2020 Abstract:  Ensuring social equity in evacuations and disasters remains a critical challenge for many emergency management and transportation agencies. Recent sharing economy advances – including transportation network companies (TNCs, also known as ridehailing and ridesourcing), carsharing, and homesharing – may supplement public resources and ensure more equitable evacuations. To explore the social equity implications of the sharing economy in disasters, we conducted four focus groups (n=37) of vulnerable populations impacted by California wildfires in 2017 or 2018. To structure these data, we employed the Spatial Temporal Economic Physiological Social (STEPS) equity framework in an evacuation context. We contribute to the literature by: 1) summarizing the focus groups and their opinions on the sharing economy in evacuations; 2) capturing wildfire evacuation obstacles through the STEPS transportation equity framework; and 3) linking STEPS and focus group results to explore the future potential of shared resources. Using STEPS, we also expand our shared resource exploration to 18 vulnerable groups. We found that all focus groups were highly concerned with driver availability and reliability and the ability of vehicles to reach evacuation zones, not necessarily safety and security. Each group also expressed specific limitations related to their vulnerability. For example, individuals with disabilities were most concerned with inaccessible vehicles and homes. Using the STEPS framework, we found that while multiple vulnerable groups could gain considerable benefits from shared resources, 10 of the 18 groups experience three or more key challenges to implementation. We offer several policy recommendations to address equity-driven planning and shared resource limitations. View...

Similarities and Differences of Mobility on Demand (MOD) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Authors: Susan Shaheen and Adam Cohen Date: June 2020 Intro: In cities around the world, innovative and emerging shared modes are offering residents, businesses, travelers, and other users more options to access mobility, goods, and services. As these shared modes build a network of services in many cities, consumers are increasingly engaging in more complex multimodal decision-making processes. Rather than making decisions between modes, travelers are “modal chaining” to optimize route, travel time, and cost. Additionally, digital information and fare integration are contributing to new on-demand access models for mobility and goods delivery. On both sides of the Atlantic, two complementary approaches to multimodal access to public and private transportation services are evolving in parallel. In North America, consumers are assigning economic values to transportation services and making mobility decisions (including the decision not to travel and instead have a good or service delivered) based on cost, journey time, number 0f connections, convenience, and other attributes—a concept commonly referred to as mobility on demand (MOD). In Europe, services that allow travelers to sign up for mobility services in one bundled service are gaining popularity—a concept known as mobility as a service (MaaS). Practitioners are often faced with the questions: “What is MOD?” “What is MaaS?” and “How are MOD and MaaS similar and different?” This article aims to clarify these two concepts, explain their similarities and differences, and highlight a few public sector integrated mobility initiatives. Read the article...

Mobility on Demand in the United States

Authors: Susan Shaheen and Adam Cohen Date: March 2020 Abstract: The growth of shared mobility services and enabling technologies, such as smartphone apps, is contributing to the commodification and aggregation of transportation services. This chapter reviews terms and definitions related to Mobility on Demand (MOD) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS), the mobility marketplace, stakeholders, and enablers. This chapter also reviews the U.S. Department of Transportation’s MOD Sandbox Program, including common opportunities and challenges, partnerships, and case studies for employing on-demand mobility pilots and programs. The chapter concludes with a discussion of vehicle automation and on-demand mobility including pilot projects and the potential transformative impacts of shared automated vehicles on parking, land use, and the built environment. View...

MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: BART Integrated Carpool to Transit Access Program Evaluation Plan

Authors: Gustave Cordahi, Susan Shaheen, PhD, Elliot Martin, PhD Date: April 2018 Abstract:  The MOD Sandbox Demonstrations are sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation is sponsored by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), jointly by the Intelligent Transportation Systems – Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) and the FTA. All documents are USDOT publications. You may access the document at: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/36425 BART is the fifth-busiest heavy rail rapid transit system in the United States, carrying more than 430,000 daily riders. BART provides service in Northern California in four Bay Area counties: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Francisco County, and San Mateo County. The BART system is comprised of 107 miles of track, 46 stations, and 669 revenue vehicles. It provides access to many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s key destinations for work, school, and recreation. BART has over 3,400 employees and a combined annual capital and operating budget of over $1.5 billion. BART, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and Scoop Technologies, Inc. (Scoop), are partnering on a program to better integrate carpool access to public transit by matching passengers with a transit station as their destination, and providing a seamless way to reserve and pay for highly-coveted parking spaces at BART stations. BART offers 48,000 parking spaces at 34 of its 46 stations. The parking mix at BART includes “daily fee” first come/first served spaces (approximately 35,000 spaces), permit spaces (approximately 12,000 spaces), and a small number of carpool spaces (approximately 900 spaces). Demand for parking is high and the majority of spaces fill by 8am each weekday. However, only about 0.8 percent of those parking...

MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: VTrans Open Trip Planner Evaluation Plan

Authors: Gustave Cordahi, Susan Shaheen, PhD, Elliot Martin, PhD Date: June 2018 Abstract:  The MOD Sandbox Demonstrations are sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation is sponsored by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), jointly by the Intelligent Transportation Systems – Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) and the FTA. All documents are USDOT publications. You may access the document at: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/36390 The Vermont Agency of Transportation’s (VTrans) goal is to develop a trip planner that provides access to flexible mobility options while also building on a platform that can be adapted, utilized, and scaled elsewhere. This proposed trip planner will include itineraries that utilize both fixed and flexible modes of public transit. The final deliverable of this project is a mobile and desktop-accessible statewide OpenTripPlannerwebsite application. By further developing the open-source OpenTripPlanner, this platform will leverage pre-existing technology and will be distributed back to others who can use it. After the adaptation of the OpenTripPlanner code to accept GTFS-flex data, the project team will submit that code back to the OpenTripPlanner group for incorporation into the core code. The project team will also submit comments on and suggested revisions to the emerging GTFS-flex specification, in order to provide a scalable model on which flexible public transit services can be defined for public consumption through web applications. The OpenTripPlanner meets FTA’s MOD Sandbox Program goals by conducting research marketing and promoting existing and emerging flexible transit services through open source technologies and open data that allow for the easy discovery of those services through interfaces already understood by most riders. Goals include: Improve transportation efficiency by promoting and creating...