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...

MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: Pierce Transit Limited Access Connections 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/36386. Pierce Transit (PT) provides public transportation services in the urbanized area of Pierce County, Washington, Washington’s second largest county. This area includes the City of Tacoma; and the communities of Edgewood, Fife, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Milton, Puyallup, Ruston, Steilacoom, Tacoma, University Place; portions of Auburn and Pacific; and some unincorporated portions of Pierce County. The service area population is 557,069. PT is proposing a three-pronged approach to address the issues facing its community. The issues include park and ride lot congestion, fixed route service ending before night classes finish, and concentrated population living outside a walkable distance from fixed route bus service. Based on an average Lyft trip cost using various zones and times of day, PT calculated an average trip cost of $11 for their rideshare partners. All trips are subsidized and offered in the following ways: The first approach is a first/last mile solution, and refers to those riders needing transportation to or from transit because their start or end point lies beyond a half-mile from nearest transit access. Pierce Transit is collaborating with their rideshare partner to provide first/last mile service in and between select zones, and these trips are subsidized. The second approach is a guaranteed ride home, which refers to...

MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: DART – The First and Last Mile Solution 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/36657 DART is a transit agency in Dallas, Texas, that operates bus, light rail, commuter rail, streetcar, paratransit, and vanpool services in Dallas and its suburbs. While DART has expanded its services significantly to help accommodate the explosive growth in the area, increasing rider penetration and service frequency, most notably through bus service, has been a challenge. Many residents of the Dallas/Fort Worth area have difficulty completing the first mile and last mile(FMLM) of their commutes, even while high-frequency rail or bus service is available for a major portion of their trips. Nearly 28 percent of all residents and 24 percent of all DART service area jobs are more than 1/4 mile from a bus stop or rail station. DART’s MOD Sandbox demonstration aims at implementing FMLM solutions to improve service and connectivity for customers and provide efficiencies and cost effectiveness within DART’s operations. To solve the FMLM challenge, DART is leveraging its GoPass ticketing app to implement a soft integration, also referred to as a smart-app switch, into the apps for transportation network companies (TNCs) (e.g., Uber and Lyft). This will provide seamless access to multiple transportation options, allowing the DART community the ability to travel door to door. This will be accomplished by leveraging the application...
Shared Mobility Policy Playbook

Shared Mobility Policy Playbook

Authors: Susan Shaheen, PhD, Adam Cohen, Michael Randolph, Emily Farrar, Richard Davis, and Aqshems Nichols Date: December 2019 Abstract:  The Shared Mobility Policy Playbook provides an introduction and definitions of shared mobility services, mode-specific resources for agencies looking to develop policies in their community, and policy-focused tools demonstrating case studies and best practices for shared mobility. This playbook has been designed for individuals and practitioners who want to know more about shared mobility and to communities interested in incorporating shared mobility into their transportation ecosystem. It is a practical guide with resources, information, and tools for local governments, public agencies, and non-governmental organizations seeking to incorporate and manage innovative and emerging shared mobility services. The following are suggested uses of this playbook: Access shared mobility resources including: opportunities, lessons learned, and best practices for deploying shared mobility across the United States. Use this playbook as a guide for strategic transportation planning and incorporating shared mobility into transportation plans and models. Reference best practices, lessons learned, and case studies to aid public policy development....

Chapter 13 – Sharing strategies: carsharing, shared micromobility (bikesharing and scooter sharing), transportation network companies, microtransit, and other innovative mobility modes

Authors: Susan Shaheen, PhD, Adam Cohen, Nelson Chan, and Apaar Bansal Date: January 2020 Abstract:  Shared mobility—the shared use of a vehicle, bicycle, or other mode—is an innovative transportation strategy that enables users to gain short-term access to transportation modes on an “as-needed” basis. It includes various forms of carsharing, bikesharing, scooter sharing, ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling), transportation network companies (TNCs), and microtransit. Included in this ecosystem are smartphone “apps” that aggregate and optimize these mobility options, as well as “courier network services” that provide last mile package and food delivery. This chapter describes different models that have emerged in shared mobility and reviews research that has quantified the environmental, social, and transportation-related impacts of these services....